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Stigma and Social Control

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Author Info

  • Lawrence E. Blume

    (Cornell University)

Abstract

Social interactions provide a set of incentives for regulating individual behavior. Chief among these is stigma, the status loss and discrimination that results from the display of stigmatized attributes or behaviors. The stigmatization of behavior is the enforcement mechanism behind social norms. This paper models the incentive effects of stigmatization in the context of undertaking criminal acts. Stigma is a flow cost of uncertain duration which varies negatively with the number of stigmatized individuals. Criminal opportunities arrive randomly and an equilibrium model describes the conditions under which each individual chooses the behavior that, if detected, is stigmatized. The comparative static analysis of stigma costs differs from that of conventional penalties. One surprising result with important policy implications is that stigma costs of long duration will lead to increased crime rates.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by EconWPA in its series Game Theory and Information with number 0312002.

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Date of creation: 08 Dec 2003
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Handle: RePEc:wpa:wuwpga:0312002

Note: Type of Document - pdf; prepared on linux: TeX, dvips, ps2pdf;
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Web page: http://128.118.178.162

Related research

Keywords: stigma; social control; social norms; crime;

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References

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  1. Frank A. Cowell, 1990. "Cheating the Government: The Economics of Evasion," MIT Press Books, The MIT Press, edition 1, volume 1, number 0262532484.
  2. L. Blume, 2010. "The Statistical Mechanics of Strategic Interaction," Levine's Working Paper Archive 488, David K. Levine.
  3. Young, H Peyton, 1993. "The Evolution of Conventions," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 61(1), pages 57-84, January.
  4. Gary S. Becker, 1968. "Crime and Punishment: An Economic Approach," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 76, pages 169.
  5. Matsui Akihiko & Matsuyama Kiminori, 1995. "An Approach to Equilibrium Selection," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 65(2), pages 415-434, April.
  6. Kandori, M. & Mailath, G.J., 1991. "Learning, Mutation, And Long Run Equilibria In Games," Papers 71, Princeton, Woodrow Wilson School - John M. Olin Program.
  7. Lawrence E. Blume, 1995. "Evolutionary Equilibrium with Forward-Looking Players," Game Theory and Information 9509001, EconWPA.
  8. Blume,L. & Durlauf,S., 2002. "Equilibrium concepts for social interaction models," Working papers 7, Wisconsin Madison - Social Systems.
  9. Zhou Lin, 1994. "The Set of Nash Equilibria of a Supermodular Game Is a Complete Lattice," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 7(2), pages 295-300, September.
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Cited by:
  1. Marcel Fafchamps & Steven N. Durlauf, 2004. "Social Capital," Economics Series Working Papers WPS/2004-14, University of Oxford, Department of Economics.
    • Durlauf, Steven N. & Fafchamps, Marcel, 2005. "Social Capital," Handbook of Economic Growth, in: Philippe Aghion & Steven Durlauf (ed.), Handbook of Economic Growth, edition 1, volume 1, chapter 26, pages 1639-1699 Elsevier.
  2. Matteo Cervellati & Paolo Vanin, 2010. "”Thou shalt not covet ...”: Prohibitions, Temptation and Moral Values," Working Papers 2010.54, Fondazione Eni Enrico Mattei.
  3. Fafchamps, Marcel & Moser, Christine, 2004. "Crime, Isolation, and Law Enforcement," Working Paper Series UNU-WIDER Research Paper , World Institute for Development Economic Research (UNU-WIDER).
  4. Luca Anderlini & Daniele Terlizzese, 2009. "Equilibrium Trust," EIEF Working Papers Series 0913, Einaudi Institute for Economics and Finance (EIEF), revised Dec 2009.
  5. Onur Ozgur & Alberto Bisin, 2011. "Dynamic linear economies with social interactions," Levine's Working Paper Archive 786969000000000036, David K. Levine.
  6. Robert Dur & Joël Van Der Weele, 2013. "Status-Seeking in Criminal Subcultures and the Double Dividend of Zero-Tolerance," Journal of Public Economic Theory, Association for Public Economic Theory, vol. 15(1), pages 77-93, 02.
  7. David Newbery, 2009. "Predicting Market Power in Wholesale Electricity Markets," RSCAS Working Papers 2009/03, European University Institute.
  8. Çule, Monika & Fulton, Murray, 2009. "Business culture and tax evasion: Why corruption and the unofficial economy can persist," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 72(3), pages 811-822, December.
  9. Alessandra Venturini, 2009. "Irregular Migration: Incentives and Institutional and Social Enforcement," RSCAS Working Papers carim2009/03, European University Institute.

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