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Governmental Action, Social Norms, and Criminal Behavior

Patricia Funk ()

Journal of Institutional and Theoretical Economics (JITE), 2005, vol. 161, issue 3, 522-535

Abstract: This article explores the relationship between governmental deterrence, crime, and the strength of social norms against crime. Based on experimental research in psychology and economics, I argue that the strength of the social norm of "not committing a crime" is shaped by social interactions. Modeling these social interactions exhibits self-reinforcing processes of crime and multiple equilibria. As for the impact of governmental deterrence, I show that harsher governmental deterrence reduces crime directly as well as indirectly through its impact on social norms.

JEL-codes: K4 Z13 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2005
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