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A Simple Model Of Optimal Hate Crime Legislation

Author

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  • LI GAN
  • ROBERTON C. WILLIAMS III
  • THOMAS WISEMAN

Abstract

We present a simple model of the effects of hate crime legislation. It shows that even if the direct harm to victims of hate crime is the same as for other crimes, because of other differences in the effects it may still be optimal to exert more law-enforcement effort to deter or prevent hate crime. These differences also have previously unrecognized effects on the optimal level of effort by potential hate crime victims to avoid being victimized, thus affecting the efficiency of government policies that encourage or discourage such effort. We discuss the implications of these results for optimal hate-crime policy, as well as for policy toward other similar crimes, such as terrorism.
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Suggested Citation

  • Li Gan & Roberton C. Williams Iii & Thomas Wiseman, 2011. "A Simple Model Of Optimal Hate Crime Legislation," Economic Inquiry, Western Economic Association International, vol. 49(3), pages 674-684, July.
  • Handle: RePEc:bla:ecinqu:v:49:y:2011:i:3:p:674-684
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Gary S. Becker, 1974. "Crime and Punishment: An Economic Approach," NBER Chapters,in: Essays in the Economics of Crime and Punishment, pages 1-54 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    2. Edward L. Glaeser, 2002. "The Political Economy of Hatred," NBER Working Papers 9171, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    3. Johnson, Stephen D. & Byers, Bryan D., 2003. "Attitudes toward hate crime laws," Journal of Criminal Justice, Elsevier, vol. 31(3), pages 227-235.
    4. Ian Ayres & Steven D. Levitt, 1998. "Measuring Positive Externalities from Unobservable Victim Precaution: An Empirical Analysis of Lojack," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 113(1), pages 43-77.
    5. Lewis R. Gale & Will Carrington Heath & Rand W. Ressler, 2002. "An Economic Analysis of Hate Crime," Eastern Economic Journal, Eastern Economic Association, vol. 28(2), pages 203-216, Spring.
    6. Jefferson, Philip N. & Pryor, Frederic L., 1999. "On the geography of hate," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 65(3), pages 389-395, December.
    7. 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 405-433, October.
    8. Ben-Shahar, Omri & Harel, Alon, 1995. "Blaming the Victim: Optimal Incentives for Private Precautions against Crime," Journal of Law, Economics, and Organization, Oxford University Press, vol. 11(2), pages 434-455, October.
    9. Edward L. Glaeser, 2002. "The Political Economy of Hatred," Harvard Institute of Economic Research Working Papers 1970, Harvard - Institute of Economic Research.
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    Cited by:

    1. Dharmapala Dhammika & Garoupa Nuno & McAdams Richard H., 2009. "Belief in a Just World, Blaming the Victim, and Hate Crime Statutes," Review of Law & Economics, De Gruyter, vol. 5(1), pages 311-345, May.
    2. Nuno Garoupa & Jonathan Klick & Francesco Parisi, 2006. "A law and economics perspective on terrorism," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 128(1), pages 147-168, July.
    3. Jason Chan & Anindya Ghose & Robert Seamans, 2013. "The Internet and Hate Crime: Offline Spillovers from Online Access," Working Papers 13-02, NET Institute.
    4. Ehud Guttel & Barak Medina, 2007. "Less Crime, More (Vulnerable) Victims: Game Theory and the Distributional Effects of Criminal Sanctions," Discussion Paper Series dp472, The Federmann Center for the Study of Rationality, the Hebrew University, Jerusalem.
    5. Ehud Guttel & Barak Medina, 2007. "Less Crime, More (Vulnerable) Victims: Game Theory and the Distributional Effects of Criminal Sanctions," Levine's Bibliography 122247000000001799, UCLA Department of Economics.

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • K14 - Law and Economics - - Basic Areas of Law - - - Criminal Law
    • K42 - Law and Economics - - Legal Procedure, the Legal System, and Illegal Behavior - - - Illegal Behavior and the Enforcement of Law

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