Towards quantifiable metrics warranting industry-wide corporate death penalties

Joshua M. Pearce*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

6 Citations (Scopus)
113 Downloads (Pure)


In the singular search for profits, some corporations inadvertently kill humans. If this routinely occurs throughout an industry, it may no longer serve a net positive social purpose for society and should be eliminated. This article provides a path to an objective quantifiable metric for determining when an entire industry warrants the corporate death penalty. First, a theoretical foundation is developed with minimum assumptions necessary to provide evidence for corporate public purposes. This is formed into an objective quantifiable metric with publicly-available data and applied to two case studies in the U.S.: the tobacco and coal mining industries. The results show the American tobacco industry kills 4 times more people per year than it employs, and the American coal-mining industry kills more than one American every year for every coal miner employed. The results clearly warrant industry-wide corporate death penalties for both industries in America. Future work is discussed to ensure industries only exist to benefit humanity in all the societies in which they operate.

Original languageEnglish
Article number62
JournalSocial Sciences
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2019
MoE publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed


  • Corporate corruption
  • Corporate death penalty
  • Corporate misconduct
  • Emissions
  • Environmental externalities
  • Ethics in organizations
  • Pollution
  • Public management


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