Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)

Legacy Department


Committee Chair/Advisor

Bodenhorn, Howard

Committee Member

Bodenhorn , Howard

Committee Member

Tollison , Robert

Committee Member

Sauer , Raymond


This paper addresses the general theory of shaming and the effects it has on criminal behavior. There has been much debate of the use of shaming in the criminal justice system and the effects it has on criminal behavior. The lack of quantitative data has limited such debates to theory without evidence. This paper applies the theory to NCAA football statistics to study the behavior of football players on the field, to explain the way people and how people respond to shaming. The analysis is based on seasonal team statistics of all division I football teams in correlation with a rule change that imposes a shaming effect on individual football players. It shows the referee stating the number of an individual who committed a penalty increases the cost of committing the penalty. The findings are unambiguous and statistically significant in the behaviors of the teams and the number of penalties committed after the introduction of shaming the individual players. The research of this paper suggests that ostracizing an individual for a crime will decrease the number of crimes committed in the aggregate. We would expect the incentives created by this rule to be similar to those created by public identification for sex offenders, known as the shaming effect.

Included in

Economics Commons



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