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Social status and crime

Emrah Arbak

No 510, Working Papers from Groupe d'Analyse et de Théorie Economique Lyon St-Étienne (GATE Lyon St-Étienne), Université de Lyon

Abstract: We consider a large population of agents choosing either to engage in a criminal activity or working. Individuals feel varying degrees of selfreproach if they commit criminal acts. In addition, they are concerned with their social status in society, based on others’ perceptions of their values. In making their decisions, individuals weigh both the material and social risks of being a criminal and a worker. We find that introducing social status concerns may induce multiple equilibria. We also consider the implications of intragroup and intergroup interactions in an economy with two classes of earning abilities. Typically, there is more crime in the low ability group and increasing punishment reduces crime, but the opposite may also be true.

Keywords: Crime; Social identity; Asymmetric information; Behavioral game theory (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: C72 D82 K42 Z13 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Pages: 27 pages
Date: 2005-11
New Economics Papers: this item is included in nep-law, nep-mic, nep-reg, nep-soc and nep-ure
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Working Paper: Social status and crime (2005) Downloads
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