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Status-Seeking in Violent Subcultures and the Double Dividend of Zero-Tolerance

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  • Robert Dur

    ()
    (Erasmus Universiteit Rotterdam)

Abstract

This paper develops a model in which individuals gain social status among their peers for being 'tough' by committing violent acts. We show that a high penalty for moderately violent acts (zero-tolerance) may yield a double dividend in that it reduces both moderate and extreme violence. The reason is that a high penalty keeps relatively 'gutless' individuals from committing moderately violent acts, which raises the signaling value of that action, and thus makes it more attractive for otherwise extremely violent individuals. Conversely, a high penalty for extremely violent acts may backfire, as it induces relatively 'tough' individuals to commit moderately violent acts and so makes moderate violence more attractive for otherwise nonviolent individuals.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Tinbergen Institute in its series Tinbergen Institute Discussion Papers with number 06-005/1.

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Date of creation: 06 Jan 2006
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Handle: RePEc:dgr:uvatin:20060005

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Web page: http://www.tinbergen.nl

Related research

Keywords: status concerns; violence; subcultures; penalties; zero-tolerance; broken windows policing;

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References

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Cited by:
  1. Ben Vollaard, 2006. "Evaluating the push for tougher, more targeted policing in the Netherlands; evidence from a citizen survey," CPB Document, CPB Netherlands Bureau for Economic Policy Analysis 119, CPB Netherlands Bureau for Economic Policy Analysis.
  2. Dur, Robert & van der Weele, Joël, 2011. "Status-Seeking in Criminal Subcultures and the Double Dividend of Zero-Tolerance," IZA Discussion Papers 5484, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).

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