Login with Facebook

Introduction to Social Choice and Incarceration

Human beings are naturally social. We have to make decisions every day, which affects the people around us. If we don’t make these decisions, it becomes hard to live life as we are expected to, making it harder to continue with other things that make life meaningful. And there is a common concept in life, that choices have consequences, which is very true.

In economics, several theories attempt to explain why people make the decisions they make and what drives them to leave others. One such model is the consumer and firm theories of decision making. As individuals, we make decisions to consume or not to consume certain products depending on the environment. These consumption patterns follow what an individual sees as most important in their life, which may help them now and in the future.

The individual choice may not have a huge impact on the whole society unless the person has a lot of influence. But when people make decisions collectively, their effect spreads all the way across the roots of society. Hence, it becomes the decision on the whole society to take a stand. Individual choices are not the same as social choices, since they are based on what one person things. As stated in the beginning, human beings are social beings, and their interaction is very important to how they generally relate. In terms of economic growth and development, social choices may have a bigger influence on that individual. Also, the decision that firms make is not only their growth and development, but they affect society as well. When a company, for instance, decides to raise the price of their goods, they affect consumers, who may choose to seek more affordable alternatives. Everything they do is based on what makes them happier, leaving anything that causes more unhappiness.

In other words, markets develop because of the collective decisions of consumers and firms. Many economic theories hold that people are rational decision-makers, and they respond differently to incentives. Where a decision leads to positive results, the consumer or firm will be more willing to go for that choice. And where the risk on less or negative output is potential, the decision-maker will weigh all the alternatives before settling on one. This shows that the decision-making process is not an easy one, and may involve more things that one would have anticipated.

Economics and law

In the past, law was only used to handle certain items in the economy. It was not very serious since only a few issues relating to economy and law needed serious thought. At the beginning of 1960, however, things started taking a different turn as more scholas came up with thoughts on how law influenced economies.

Making decisions may not be the hardest part of the process, but how to make them. Considering that there are rewards and punishment, one must consider the decision-making process as well as the end results of that decision. Based on this, there are two theories: Deontology and Utilitarianism, which emphasize the importance of being good at all times. According to the former, people should always do good, despite the consequences, where the latter focuses on good results, even if the means are questionable.

When bad decisions are made, consequences often involve facing the law. And though sometimes good deeds are also punishable, they do not lead to severe results for the individual or a society.

Economics and law are a wide subject today, an important one for students of economics and students of law. The subject deals mainly with contracts, tort, and criminal laws applied when people make certain choices knowingly or unknowingly. The end results are always that there is a reward or a punishment where things go wrong. These subjects also deal with property rights and ownership. Under contract laws, parties are allowed to make their own contracts, especially in the private sector, but through courts, the judicial system comes in when there is a breach of contract to ensure that each part delivers their end. These laws lead to efficiency in economic processes, which is a necessity in ensuring proper growth and development of specific economies. Tort laws, these systems are crucial in protecting property rights, even though there is no real definition of these rights in certain judicial systems.

Criminal laws are there as incentives to discourage individuals from making certain mistakes. If the penalty for committing a crime is less than the reward of making a choice, it is easier for the decision-maker to do something different. Even so, sometimes the person who does something wrong can win, where they reward of what they did is greater. This is why it is stated that where four people are to be arrested for a crime, but only one of them is caught, the punishment has to four times the initial penalty of the crime. There are economic implications to these decisions since most of the people found guilty barely have enough to pay for the fines. This is where incarceration, as a form of punishment, comes in as the most probable course of action.

The Social Choice Theory

Social choice theory is defined as an economic thought that considers whether a society can be ordered in such a way that reflects individual preferences. Kenneth Arrow developed this theory through the publication of his work, “Social Choice and Individual Values,” in 1951. This became the foundation of understanding how choices made in societies affect individuals, and how those made by individuals also affect society. In the beginning, we said they human beings are naturally social, and every decision made spreads from an individual, all the way to other people, and to the community.

Nicolas de Condorcet, a Frenchman, established the initial foundation of social theory through his essay in 1785, which included the jury theorem. In this theorem, every member of a jury bears an equal and independent opportunity to make the right judgment on the defendant's status. Condorcet argued and proved that majority of jurors are most likely to be more correct that one juror. Hence, he made a strong case of collective decision-making. His paradox builds another theorem he had modeled earlier and makes a proposition that majority preferences can be irrational. In this case, Condorcet also shows that even though collective decision making it preferable to individual choices, it does not go without several associated problems.

The main point of concern in the social theorem is whether there is a possibility of finding a rule that aggregates individual preference, judgments, votes, and decisions in a satisfactory manner to minimal criteria for what should be considered a good rule. Even though the theory is more applicable in political choices, it has proved very useful in many other types of individual choices. It all comes down to how people behave, and what pushes them to make certain decisions, some of which may have critical consequences to society. But making decisions and following choices essential in human existence. If there is anything that and individual misses to consider in their decision, they have to live with the consequences since there must result in everything they do.

A society to order in a manner that reflects these varied preferences is not easy to achieve. Arrow continues to share five conditions to be met by society’s choices if it must reflect its individuals' choices, which include: Universality, Responsiveness, Independence of Irrelevant Alternatives, Non-imposition, and Non-dictatorship. He comes up with the Impossibility Theorem, stating that it’s impossible to order society in a way that goes per the wishes of an individual without going against at least one of these five conditions.

Jean Charles de Bourda, is another very notable contributor to the social choice theory. He is a contemporary of Condorcet, who developed and an alternative voting system called Borda Count. His influence on this subject has been widely acknowledged and appreciated by many people across the globe. Apart from these, there are other contributors to the theory, too, including Charles Dodgson and Indian economist Amartya Sen.

A good example of social choice theory is found in politics, specifically under a dictatorship. Under normal circumstances, people are free to make their one choice and lead the society where they want it to go. They can vote in the leaders that want when they want. But in a dictatorship, decisions on social choices and ordering of society are agreed up by a small group of individuals. In this case, unlike democratic societies, individuals do not have much say in how society should be ordered.

Incarceration as a form of punishment

Since 2010, it has been observed that there are 27 crimes in the USA every year. For instance, figures from 2013 show that there were 6 million reports of violent crimes, which include 3 million burglaries, 650,000 motor vehicle thefts, and close to 13 million other small crimes. These numbers also show that criminal behavior affects society largely, with millions of people victimized. They challenge the safety of our communities and personal quality life. The criminal justice system in the US sentence to jail anyone found guilty of committing serious crimes. This could be the same situation in many other parts of the world.

The process of incarceration happens with remarkable frequency. There are currently more than 2.2 million people in the US prisons and local jails, which represents one for every 110 people in the country, as reported by Glaze & Kaeble, 2014. The prisons hold more people than anywhere else in the world and can even be likened to some cities' population. The judicial system also incarcerates citizens according to the crimes, mostly homicide and robbery than any other part of the world, except Russia. Schlosser (1998) notes that most USA prisoners are non-violent offenders who would otherwise receive community service and parole in many other parts of the world.

Like the USA, the high rate of incarceration can have enormous costs, to society, and the general economy. Each person is jailed for an average of 2.45 years, as reported by Boncza, 2011. This comes to a cost of $28,000 per person, per year, totaling to about $37 billion in services, prison construction, and employee costs as per the report of Kyckelhahn, 2012. There are also financial burdens on placing people in prisons, which leaves their families to suffer, especially if they were the breadwinners. Their families may fail to pay for housing and other expenses, leading to more hardships and the possibility of more crimes.

Incarceration is termed as punishment in legal terminologies, although it carries two meanings. One is societal retribution, where those who have made a mistake are made to suffer and pay for it in the interest of fairness. It also implies rehabilitation or lessening the probability that the person will engage in future criminal activities. In its uses as operant punishment, we can establish that it is a consequence that reduces the probability of an occurrence.

We have already seen from the beginning that people make rational decisions, and they respond to incentives. Incarceration is used as an example of a result of an incentive for bad choices. When an individual thinks about what they went through in prison, and perhaps it was not worth the trouble that got them there, they may not repeat the same mistake. In this case, prison sentencing becomes a good thing that should be encouraged to reduce crime. However, we have also noted that incarceration has a lot of negative consequences on the economy as well as individuals sent in jail. In this case, it becomes very hard to determine whether it is good to send wrong-doors to prison.

The choices that we make, either as individuals or society, have big rewards, both negative and positive, to society. Several theories and approaches have been used to try and explain why people make these choices, and it all comes down to the human nature of free-will. Studying social choice and punishment can be one great way of understanding such behaviors with their consequencesSocial Choice, and determining the best solution for cohesive existence in societies.

Author: James Hamilton


Comments

Need a custom
essay?

We will write it for you.
Order now

Free Essay Examples

Free essays:

All you need to know about Neuroendocrinology
All you need to know about Big data management
All you need to know about digital special effects
All you need to know Technical Writing?
Basics the Game Theory in Cryptoeconomics
Business innovation ideas for making money
Biosensors for cancer diagnosis
Business Analysis: Pricing strategies and Demand Curve
Conservation Economics
Cybersecurity in business: challenges, risks, and practices
Corporate Behavior
Compare and contrast the political theories
Determinants of Wages
Deontology Vs. Utilitarianism
Development of Advertising
Digital Illiteracy
Economic Analysis of Market Structure
Expected Utility
Everything you need to know about workplace diversity
Efficiency and Market Equilibrium
Factors Affecting Purchasing Behavior
Financial Statement Analysis
Factors Influencing Interest and Exchange Rates
Fiscal and Monetary Policies in Response to 2008/2009
Game theory in microeconomics
Globalization: definition, causes, social impact and risks
Gene expression: what it is and why it is important
Global environmental issues
How women can manage sexual harassment
How to conduct economic research?
How to define the Enterprise Value
How cancer is developed - Cancer biology
Introduction to Labor Markets
Investment in Human Capital
Intellectual Property and Product Liability
Introduction to Social Choice and Incarceration
Journalism: What is News?
Journalism: Broadcast media and Television Presenters
Journalism: Sources of News
Journalism and Law
Key Determinants of National Income
Key Factors That Affect Pricing Decisions
Kinetic models in biology and Related fields
Know about the different forms of traditional African dances
Latest technology trends
Latest dance trends
Modern journalism
Methods of labeling of nucleic acid that enable their detection
Neuromuscular disorders
National Economies, Fluctuation, and Responses to Fluctuations
Neurotransmitters: what they are and different types
Nanomedicines to target tumors
Organizational motivation and its effects
Overcoming Hiring Challenges for Nonprofit Organization
Policy in Corporate Mergers
Political theories of John Locke
Research and Development
Risk Sharing in Insurance and Asset Markets
Risk and the value of information
Reverse discrimination.
Structure of a Corporation
Schizoaffective disorder: how to live better with it
Segregation in the US.
Stages of the Consumer Decision-Making Process
The Role of Internal Audit in Corporate Risk Management
The Use of Law on Economics and Vice Versa
The political theory of Thomas Hobbes
The Game Theory in Social Media
Unemployment
Utilitarianism Vs. Kantianism
Understanding Auctions and Auction Theory: Part 2
Understanding Auctions and Auction Theory: Part 1
Various theoretical perspectives of sociology
Virtual reality, what it is and how it works
What is Neuroplasticity?
What is the 7 layers of OSI model?
4 Facts about Origin of Mathematics!
5 techniques to create an animation
10 emerging technologies according to World Economic Forum
10 strategies to maximize corporate profits
3d Model Of Building
6 Medical Technologies that revolutionized the healthcare in 2020
All you need to know about the ACA Code of ethics
Architecture and Democracy: An Introduction
Architecture and Democracy: Democratic Values
Architecture and Democracy: Democratic Procedures
All You Need to Know About a Synthesis Essay
An essential guide to understanding Film Theory
Application of Artificial Intelligence in Cyber Security
Applications of electrical engineering
Augmented reality: what it is, how it works, examples
Advantages And Disadvantages Of Social Networking
All you need to know about Cryptography
Applications of astrophysical science
All you need to know about architecture engineering
Applications of geological engineering
Artificial intelligence and medicine: an increasingly close relationship
An insight into Computational Biology
ACA code of conduct
A Rose for Emily
Applications of Mathematics in daily life
Architecture mistakes to avoid
All you need to know about Toxicology
All you need to know about Holistic Medicine
All you need to know about linguistics
An introduction to Linguistics and its subfields
All you need to know about Anxiety disorder
All you need to know about Drones
A Brief Insight into Political Science
Assumptions related to feminism
All you need to know about Byzantine emperors
All you need to know about labour economics
An insight into xenobots -the first-ever robots
An ultimate guide about Biomaterials
A Comprehensive Introduction to the Mona Lisa
Analysis methods of Transport through biological membranes
An ultimate guide about biochemical reactions
Analysis of brain signals
Artificial Gene Synthesis
Application to synthetic biology of CAD methods
All you need to know about metabolic pathways
Applications of BIOMEMS
All you need to know about the epidemiology
Asian vs. western leadership styles
All you need to know about Smart prosthesis
Analysis of Economy: Output of Goods and Services (GNP), and GDP on Economic success
A Guide to Pricing Strategies
An Overview Of Economic Studies
Analysis of Fiscal and Monetary Policies
Analysis of Business Cycles
Analysis of Consumption and Investment
A Look into Regression Analysis
Analysis of Household's Consumption and Savings Behavior
All you need to know about Capital Budgeting
All you need to know about risk management
Art looted in wartime.
Appropriate use of Data in Economics
All you need to know about reaction kinetics?
A historical overview of Financial Crises
All you need to know about management discipline?
An insight into the error-correction models
All you need to know about Data visualization
All you need to know about Work-family balance
All you need to know Technical Writing?
All you need to know about digital special effects
All you need to know about Big data management
All you need to know about Neuroendocrinology
How to Write a Personal Essay
Housing Needs in America
How to Write a Description Essay
How to Create an Excellent Scholarship Essay?
How to write a cause and effect essay
How to Hire the Best Essay Writing Service Provider?
How to Write a College Application Essay?
How to get the most out of your English lectures
How to write Expository Essay
How to succeed in your psychology class?
How to Write an Academic Essay in the Shortest Time?
History of Journalism
How Different Sectors are Using Artificial intelligence (AI)
How to write an informative essay
How to deliver persuasive essays?
How to Give a Convincing Presentation
How to write an essay on leadership?
Historical Art Still Around Today
Humanoid robot: what it is, how it works and price
History of Chemistry
Healthcare Advanced Computer Power: Robotics, Medical Imaging, and More
Healthcare AI: Game Changers for Medical Decision-Making and Remote Patient Monitoring
How to understand different types of English
How to Cope with Chronic Pain
How African American choreographers and dancers have influenced American dance
How mobile robot can do in logistics or in production
How To Become a Successful Entrepreneur
History of the Philosophy of Feminism
How is the climate changing?
How to Track Your Content Marketing ROI
How to Gun control In the USA?
Historical and contemporary role of labour in the modern world
How breast cancers are classified?
How the cells of our body communicate?
How the Lymphatic System Works?
How Digestive System Works
How to complete your capstone projects effectively?
How to write a research project
Healthcare technologies that help patients with better self-management
How to choose the topic of the senior capstone project
How to make your business survive at economic crisis
How can immigrants blend in the American society?
How does the economics of war affect society?
Hate speech on social media.
How to Build an Economic Model
How to start a healthcare startup?
How can financial illiteracy harm you?
How cancer is developed - Cancer biology
How to define the Enterprise Value
How to conduct economic research?
How women can manage sexual harassment
Introduction to Urban Studies
Importance of dance in education
InMoov: how to build an open source humanoid robot
Importance of KYC verification to making the Blockchain secure
Importance of Rhythm
Importance of dance student evaluation
I/O control methods -types and explanations
Identity theft: what to do?
Introduction to Utilitarianism
Importance of 3d Modelling in Architecture
Importance of online journalism
Image processing in medical diagnosis
Introduction to USA Politics
Introduction to Comparative Politics
International Relations as a Major in Political Science
Importance of modern trade policy
Introduction to Journalism
Introduction to Writing a TV Script
Introduction of Microfabrication techniques
Introduction to Microeconomics
Interaction of Consumer and Firm Choices in Markets
Importance of corporate sustainability
Issues in International Monetary Macroeconomics
Introduction to Statistics and Data for Economics
Introduction to Data and Probability for Economics
Introduction to the Game Theory
Introduction to Econometrics
Introduction to Economic Information
Introduction to Market Equilibrium
Introduction to Economic Models and Application
Introduction to Empirical Research
Introduction to Econometric Data
Importance of Critical Thinking, Principles, and Goals
Introduction to Identification and Causal inferences
Introduction to Econometric Application
Intermediaries and Government in Financial Crisis
Importance and seven principles of quality management
Illiteracy in the USA
Introduction to Economics of Law
Introduction to Coase Theorem
Introduction to Social Choice and Incarceration
Intellectual Property and Product Liability
Investment in Human Capital
Introduction to Labor Markets
The Looming Energy Crisis in America
Top benefits of performance-based engineering
The More Languages You Know, The More Times You Are a Man
Things to consider while writing an Argumentative Essay
Top Ways to Improve Your Academic Writing Skills
Tips to Excel in Creative Writing
The origins of films in the early 19th century
Top career options in Architecture
The Elevator Pitch
Top finance trends 2020
The basic Structure and functionality of robots
The Way to Success
The election system of the President in the United States of America
Two-party System in United States of America
Top trends in urban design
The history and theory of African American filmmaking
Top benefits of creative writing
Tinnitus Guide: Common Symptoms and Treatment Options
The language of dance
The digital image processing management
Top famous politicians of the World
Top methods of political science!
The history of the feminist movement
The blood flow in cardiovascular system - Biofluid Mechanics
The best of Leonardo Da Vinci
The Structure and Function of Macromolecules
The structure of cell: a research on the bricks of the human body!
Tissue and organ construction: Adhesion and recognition between cells
The kinetics of the transformation processes
The Modeling of Biological Systems
Tips for writing a great thesis statement
The Defense mechanisms against infections
The impact of the technological innovations in medicine
Top journalism trends to know about
The relation between mass media & politics
Theranostics: Diagnosis and Care through Nanoparticles
The practical Applications of X-rays
The applications of Ultrasound in medicine
Transfer mechanisms of genetic information in Bacteria
The regulation of cellular metabolism in the diagnosis
The Principles of MRI Contrast agents
The technical basis of optical coherence imaging
The New Media: Emerging Trends
The Structure of Interest Rates and the Yield Curve
Technological perspectives and reflections of neural engineering
Types of bioreactors and their applications
The Role of Government Policy in Improving Economic Outcomes
Types of corporate responsibility
The Role of IMF in International Monetary Macroeconomics
Tools for investment decision making
The concept of Organizational Culture and its applications
The Conduct of Monetary and Fiscal Policy
The Basics of Financial Accelerator Models
Tips for labeling medical devices- Medical Entrepreneurship
The different medical imaging techniques
The Economics of Uncertainty – Introduction
Theories of Public Policy
The Game Theory in Social Media
The political theory of Thomas Hobbes
The Use of Law on Economics and Vice Versa
The Role of Internal Audit in Corporate Risk Management
What is a Definition Essay?
What are diagnostic essays?
What is the relation between art structural engineering?
What is a Narrative Essay
What are robotics and intelligence systems?
What are the benefits of studying health sciences?
What is artificial intelligence and why it matters?
What is comparative Literature?
Why study neuroscience
What is Wi-Fi and how does it works
What is French history famous for?
What are Humanistic Studies?
What is covered in Biophysics?
What is modern journalism?
What is Virtualization? Benefits & Applications
What are modern public relations?
What is plasma physics?
What is teacher preparation?
What is rapid prototyping for 3D printing?
What is contemporary European Politics?
Why should you learn American Ballet?
What is engineering physics?
What is the purpose of African American Literature?
Ways to learn the Rhythm
What is digital art used for?
What are Enzymes and how do they work
Who is the father of political science?
Why Study Political Science - Job?
What is the Philosophy of Feminism?
What is a quantum computer?
Ways B2B Startups Streamline Their Conversion Strategies
Why do biomedical signals need processing?
What are the long term effects of climate change?
Why study labour relations
What is Holoprosencephaly?
What is antisocial disorder?
What are the important principles of evolution?
What is the cytoplasm and its function?
What is biopolymers?
What Makes a Good Leader
Women empowerment in modern generation
What is the history of political thought?
What is Gene recombination
What is synthetic biology
What is business cost analysis?
What is Inflation
What are the consequences of unemployment?
What is lithotripsy and its types?
What is transition elastography?
What is the purpose of deep brain stimulation?
What is a Brain-Computer Interface (BCI)
What is neuroethics?
What is Market and Supply and Demand
What is optogenetics?
What are the techniques to record brain activity?
What happens if the interest rate increases?
What is immunotherapy?
What is the economic role of the financial market?
What are the factors behind illegal immigration?
What is the lymphocyte activation?
What is financial market and its types?
What is the structure of financial markets?
What are the methods of measuring business performance?
What is the Credit market?
What is business ethics and code of ethics
What are the Causes of financial instability?
What is MBA with Concentrations
What is regenerative medicine?
What is Population ecology?
What is Microfinance: evolution, and practices?
What is biotechnology and its applications?
What are Workplace diversity and its benefits?
What is the difference between a leader and a manager?
What Is Branding and best branding Business strategies?
Why are microelectronics important?
What are biologic drugs.
What is the Foreign Exchange market?
What is the role of scientific research in times of crisis?
What are the risks of international trade?
What is financial management?
What is gene therapy?
What is education economics?
What is regression analysis, and why should you use it?
What Is Technology Marketing And How Should It Work?
What is Management Accounting
What are the methods of valuation of companies?
What is Immune System and Immunotherapy?
What is big data analytics?
What is the 7 layers of OSI model?
What is Neuroplasticity?