Are "Gangstas" Peacocks? The Handicap Principle and Illicit Markets
AbstractCriminals who wear gang colors are acting in a surprisingly brazen way which must increase the probability of being caught and punished by the police.� In our model this brazen behavior is a solution to an enforcement problem.� The central idea is that less able criminals see lower gains from continued participation in crime because they will be caught and punished more often.� Lower future gains imply that reputational concerns will be less effective at enforcing honesty.� Only dealing with brazen criminals will become a good way to avoid dealing with incompetent criminals, because they cannot afford to mimic the brazen behavior.� The principle is similar to the selection for a handicap in evolutionary biology.
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Bibliographic InfoPaper provided by University of Oxford, Department of Economics in its series Economics Series Working Papers with number 558.
Date of creation: 01 Jul 2011
Date of revision:
Illegal behaviour and the enforcement of law; Information; Uncertainty;
Find related papers by JEL classification:
- K42 - Law and Economics - - Legal Procedure, the Legal System, and Illegal Behavior - - - Illegal Behavior and the Enforcement of Law
- D80 - Microeconomics - - Information, Knowledge, and Uncertainty - - - General
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- Okuno-Fujiwara Masahiro & Postlewaite Andrew, 1995. "Social Norms and Random Matching Games," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 9(1), pages 79-109, April.
Blog mentionsAs found by EconAcademics.org, the blog aggregator for Economics research:
- An Economic Analysis of Gang Colors
by Christopher Shea in Ideas Market on 2011-08-02 17:09:22
- The Economics of Gang Colors
by Josh Wright in Truth on the Market on 2011-08-04 02:31:21
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