I like to think I’m as much a fan of randomised trials as anyone. But I’m not sure that even I would go so far as suggesting randomisation when it comes to working out the deterrent effects of the death penalty. From today’s NYT.
Professor Wolfers said the answer to the question of whether the death penalty deterred was â€œnot unknowable in the abstract,â€ given enough data.
â€œIf I was allowed 1,000 executions and 1,000 exonerations, and I was allowed to do it in a random, focused way,â€ he said, â€œI could probably give you an answer.â€