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The Risks and Rewards of Criminal Activity: A Comprehensive Test of Criminal Deterrence

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  • Viscusi, W Kip

Abstract

Whereas previous analyses of criminal deterrence have focused on the effect of criminal enforcement on crime rates, this study analyzes the existence of compensating differentials for criminal pursuits. Analyzing the risk-rewards trade-off, this approach represents a more comprehensive test of the criminal deterrence hypothesis. The sample consisted of black inner-city youths who reported their participation, income, and self-assessed risks from crime. The risk premiums for the three principal adverse outcomes (arrest, conviction, and prison) constituted between one- half and two-thirds of all crime income on the average, providing strong support for the criminal deterrence hypothesis. Copyright 1986 by University of Chicago Press.

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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by University of Chicago Press in its journal Journal of Labor Economics.

Volume (Year): 4 (1986)
Issue (Month): 3 (July)
Pages: 317-40

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Handle: RePEc:ucp:jlabec:v:4:y:1986:i:3:p:317-40

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Cited by:
  1. Raphael, Steven & WINTER-EBMER, RUDOLF, 1998. "Identifying the Effect of Unemployment on Crime," University of California at San Diego, Economics Working Paper Series qt5hb4h56g, Department of Economics, UC San Diego.
  2. Lance Lochner, 2001. "A Theoretical and Empirical Study of Individual Perceptions of the Criminal Justice System," RCER Working Papers 483, University of Rochester - Center for Economic Research (RCER).
  3. Giovanni Mastrobuoni, 2011. "Optimal Criminal Behavior and the Disutility of Jail: Theory and Evidence On Bank Robberies," Carlo Alberto Notebooks 220, Collegio Carlo Alberto.
  4. McCrary, Justin & Lee, David S., 2009. "The Deterrence Effect of Prison: Dynamic Theory and Evidence," Berkeley Olin Program in Law & Economics, Working Paper Series qt2gh1r30h, Berkeley Olin Program in Law & Economics.
  5. Horst Entorf & Hannes Spengler, 2005. "Ökonometrie der Kriminalität," Ifo Schnelldienst, Ifo Institute for Economic Research at the University of Munich, vol. 58(16), pages 13-25, 08.
  6. Erling Eide, 1997. "The Economics of Crime: Main Problems and Some Solutions," Nordic Journal of Political Economy, Nordic Journal of Political Economy, vol. 24, pages 65-77.
  7. Langlais, Eric, 2009. "les criminels aiment-ils le risque ?
    [Are criminals risk-seeking individulas ?]
    ," MPRA Paper 14892, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  8. Eisenstein, Eric M., 2008. "Identity theft: An exploratory study with implications for marketers," Journal of Business Research, Elsevier, vol. 61(11), pages 1160-1172, November.
  9. Gordana Lalović & Saule Amirebayeva Reardon & Irena Vida & James Reardon, 2012. "Consumer decision model of intelectual property theft in emerging markets," Organizations and Markets in Emerging Economies, Faculty of Economics, Vilnius University, vol. 3(1).
  10. Hannes Spengler, 2006. "Eine panelökonometrische Überprüfung der ökonomischen Theorie der Kriminalität mit deutschen Bundesländerdaten," Discussion Papers of DIW Berlin 548, DIW Berlin, German Institute for Economic Research.
  11. Lance Lochner, 2005. "Individual Perceptions of the Criminal Justice System," 2005 Meeting Papers 452, Society for Economic Dynamics.
  12. Lawrence Southwick, 2005. "Economies of scale and market power in policing," Managerial and Decision Economics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 26(8), pages 461-473.
  13. Gregory DeAngelo & Gary Charness, 2012. "Deterrence, expected cost, uncertainty and voting: Experimental evidence," Journal of Risk and Uncertainty, Springer, vol. 44(1), pages 73-100, February.
  14. Gathmann, Christina, 2004. "The Effects of Enforcement on Illegal Markets: Evidence from Migrant Smuggling along the Southwestern Border," IZA Discussion Papers 1004, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  15. 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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