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The Economics of Scams

Stanley Miles and Derek Pyne

Review of Law & Economics, 2017, vol. 13, issue 1, 18

Abstract: This paper offers one of the first economic analyses of scams. Its major finding is that, unlike other crimes, imperfect enforcement may increase victimization by deterring only low-ability scammers whose failed attempts would otherwise alert potential victims before encounters with high-ability scammers. High-ability scammers may actually benefit from partial enforcement, which reduces their competition. These results may be reinforced when failed attempts are punished.

Keywords: scams; deterrence; crime; enforcement (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: K42 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2017
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