With Christmas just round the corner, what better time to look at death penalty statistics? From these lists I thought I'd compare the GDP of countries who have banned the death penalty with those where it is still permitted (so the first list and the last list on that page). For GDP I've used this, primarily the IMF numbers, but also the CIA World Factbook ones when a country wasn't in the IMF. After excluding countries that don't have easily obtainable GDP data, our dataset features 69 countries who still permit the death penalty and 91 that have banned it.
First up, let's compare mean GDPs of countries that have banned the death penalty with those that permit it:
Mean GDP of countries permitting the death penalty: 441,481 million USD
Mean GDP of countries that have banned the death penalty: 258,376 million USD
and looking at means the countries that still have the death penalty have much higher GDP. However, mightn't a few countries (mostly the USA, but also Japan and China) be dragging the death penalty mean up? Let's compute the median instead:
Median GDP of countries permitting the death penalty: 21,308 million USD
Median GDP of countries that have banned the death penalty: 31,511 million USD
and now it's the countries that have banned the death penalty that have the higher GDP. (Of course, using mean for something as skewed as GDP was silly to begin with, but it's always good to illustrate this sort of thing.)
Interestingly, the median GDP of all the countries in the world is 21,749 million USD, a figure incredibly close to that of those permitting the death penalty. You can read what you like into that.