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An Agent-Based Model of Mortality Shocks, Intergenerational Effects, and Urban Crime

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Rational criminals choose crime over lawfulness because it pays better; hence poverty correlates to criminal behavior. This correlation is an insufficient historical explanation. An agent-based model of urban crime, mortality, and exogenous population shocks supplements the standard economic story, closing the gap with an empirical reality that often breaks from trend. Agent decision making within the model is built around a career maximization function, with life expectancy as the key independent variable. Rational choice takes the form of a local information heuristic, resulting in subjectively rational suboptimal decision making. The effects of population shocks are explored using the Crime and Mortality Simulation (CAMSIM), with effects demonstrated to persist across generations. Past social trauma are found to lead to higher crime rates which subsequently decline as the effect degrades, though \'aftershocks\' are often experienced.

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Article provided by Journal of Artificial Societies and Social Simulation in its journal Journal of Artificial Societies and Social Simulation.

Volume (Year): 9 (2006)
Issue (Month): 2 ()
Pages: 7

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Handle: RePEc:jas:jasssj:2005-68-3

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Keywords: Agent-Based Model; Crime; Bounded Rationality; Life Expectancy; Rational Choice;

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  1. McCloskey, Donald N, 1983. "The Rhetoric of Economics," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 21(2), pages 481-517, June.
  2. H. Naci Mocan & Hope Corman, 2000. "A Time-Series Analysis of Crime, Deterrence, and Drug Abuse in New York City," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 90(3), pages 584-604, June.
  3. Herbert Simon & Lindsay McSweeney, 2010. "A Behavioral Model of Rational Choice," CPI Journal, Competition Policy International, vol. 6.
  4. Joshua M. Epstein & Robert L. Axtell, 1996. "Growing Artificial Societies: Social Science from the Bottom Up," MIT Press Books, The MIT Press, edition 1, volume 1, number 0262550253, December.
  5. Edward L. Glaeser & Bruce Sacerdote, 1999. "Why Is There More Crime in Cities?," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 107(S6), pages S225-S258, December.
  6. Keane, Michael P & Wolpin, Kenneth I, 1997. "The Career Decisions of Young Men," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 105(3), pages 473-522, June.
  7. Daniel S. Hamermesh, 1982. "Expectations, Life Expectancy, and Economic Behavior," NBER Working Papers 0835, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  8. Mathur, Vijay K, 1978. "Economics of Crime: An Investigation of the Deterrent Hypothesis for Urban Areas," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 60(3), pages 459-66, August.
  9. Simon, Herbert A, 1986. "Rationality in Psychology and Economics," The Journal of Business, University of Chicago Press, vol. 59(4), pages S209-24, October.
  10. Philipson, Tomas J & Posner, Richard A, 1996. "The Economic Epidemiology of Crime," Journal of Law and Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 39(2), pages 405-33, October.
  11. Isaac Ehrlich, 1996. "Crime, Punishment, and the Market for Offenses," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 10(1), pages 43-67, Winter.
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Cited by:
  1. Maria Fonoberova & Vladimir A. Fonoberov & Igor Mezic & Jadranka Mezic & P. Jeffrey Brantingham, 2012. "Nonlinear Dynamics of Crime and Violence in Urban Settings," Journal of Artificial Societies and Social Simulation, Journal of Artificial Societies and Social Simulation, vol. 15(1), pages 2.

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