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The enemy you can’t see: An investigation of the disruption of dark networks

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  • McBride, Michael
  • Hewitt, David
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    Abstract

    We examine the optimal disruption of dark (covert and illegal) networks. Of central importance is that an interventionist will generally have incomplete information about the dark network's architecture. We derive the optimal disruption strategy in a stylized model of dark network intervention with incomplete information and show how it combines features of two types of disruption considered in the literature: random failure and targeted attacks. In particular, the optimal disruption strategy encourages greater risk as less of the architecture is observed. A laboratory experiment finds that subjects tasked with disrupting a dark network qualitatively mimic the theoretical predictions.

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    File URL: http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0167268113001704
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    Bibliographic Info

    Article provided by Elsevier in its journal Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization.

    Volume (Year): 93 (2013)
    Issue (Month): C ()
    Pages: 32-50

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    Handle: RePEc:eee:jeborg:v:93:y:2013:i:c:p:32-50

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    Web page: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/jebo

    Related research

    Keywords: Terrorism; Crime; Intervention; Defense;

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    1. Brian Roberson, 2006. "The Colonel Blotto game," Economic Theory, Springer, vol. 29(1), pages 1-24, September.
    2. Gary S. Becker, 1968. "Crime and Punishment: An Economic Approach," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 76, pages 169.
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    5. Cameron, Samuel, 1988. "The Economics of Crime Deterrence: A Survey of Theory and Evidence," Kyklos, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 41(2), pages 301-23.
    6. Jonathan S. Feinstein & Edward H. Kaplan, 2010. "Analysis of a Strategic Terror Organization," Journal of Conflict Resolution, Peace Science Society (International), vol. 54(2), pages 281-302, April.
    7. Ballester, Coralio & Calvó-Armengol, Antoni & Zenou, Yves, 2005. "Who’s Who in Networks. Wanted: The Key Player," CEPR Discussion Papers 5329, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    8. Peren Arin, K. & Lorz, Oliver & Reich, Otto F.M. & Spagnolo, Nicola, 2011. "Exploring the dynamics between terrorism and anti-terror spending: Theory and UK-evidence," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 77(2), pages 189-202, February.
    9. Daniel G Arce & Rachel TA Croson & Catherine C Eckel, 2011. "Terrorism Experiments," Journal of Peace Research, Peace Research Institute Oslo, vol. 48(3), pages 373-382, May.
    10. Das, Satya P., 2008. "Some mechanisms of terror cycles," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 67(3-4), pages 644-656, September.
    11. Mariagiovanna Baccara & Heski Bar-Isaac, 2008. "How to Organize Crime -super-1," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 75(4), pages 1039-1067.
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