Last updated on: 3/13/2013 | Author:

H. Naci Mocan, PhD Biography

Professor and Chair of Economics at Louisiana State University
Not Clearly Pro or Con to the question "Should the Death Penalty Be Legal?"

“There are a number of significant issues surrounding the death penalty, ranging from potential racial discrimination in the imposition of the death penalty to discrimination regarding who is executed and who is commuted once the death penalty is received. Although it is important to preserve objectivity in evaluating scientific research, because of the nature of death penalty, it seem like ideologues, activists, and some scientists also feel compelled to enter the debate with opinions formed based on selective readings and half-truths. [Our] original findings are robust, providing evidence that people react to incentives in the domain of capital punishment. Yet, this result does not imply that capital punishment is good or bad, nor does it provide any judgment about whether capital punishment should be implemented or abolished.”

“The Impact of Incentives on Human Behavior: Can We Make It Disappear? The Case of the Death Penalty,” The Economics of Crime: Lessons For and From Latin America, 2010

Involvement and Affiliations:
  • Research Fellow, Institute for the Study of Labor (Germany), Feb. 2010-present
  • Research Affiliate, Koc University Economic Research Forum (Turkey), Jan. 2010-present
  • Associate Editor, Journal of Population Economics, Jan. 2010-present
  • Associate Editor, Journal of Labor Research, Jan. 2009-present
  • Professor and Chair of Economics, Louisiana State University, 2007-present
  • Research Associate, National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER), Oct. 1995-present
  • Visiting Professor, James A. Baker III Institute for Public Policy, Rice University, Oct. 2010
  • Professor of Economics, University of Colorado at Denver and Health Sciences Center (UCDHSC), June 1999-Aug. 2007
  • Chairman, Department of Economics, UCDHSC, July 2001-June 2004
  • Professor, Summer Minority Scholarship Program, American Economic Association, Summer 2001
  • Director, Center for Research on Economic and Social Policy, UCDHSC, 1995-2001
  • Assistant and Assosiate Professor, Department of Economics, UCDHSC, Aug. 1990-May 1999
  • Guest Co-Editor, Journal of Drug Issues, Summer 1998
  • Faculty Research Fellow, NBER, 1989-1995
  • Visiting Assistant Professor, Manhattan College Riverdale, Sep. 1989-May 1990
  • PhD, Economics, City University of New York, 1989
  • BA, Economics, Bogazici University, 1984
  • Recipient, Research Excellence Award, Louisiana State University, May 2011
  • Recipient, Excellent in Teaching Award, Louisiana State University Department of Economics, 2010
  • Received a grant from the National Institutes of Health in 2010 to study the effects of alcohol consumption and alcohol policies on violent crime in New York City.
  • Recipient, Excellence in Research and Creative Activities Award, University of Colorado at Denver, 1993 and 2005
  • Book manuscripts in progress (as of Feb. 22, 2013) titled Origins of Vengeance and The Economics of Crime and Punishment
Quoted in:
  1. Does the Death Penalty Deter Crime?