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On the Behavioral Economics of Crime

  • van Winden Frans A.A.M.

    (University of Amsterdam; Columbia University)

  • Ash Elliott

    (University of Amsterdam; Columbia University)

This paper examines the implications of the brain sciences’ mechanistic model of human behavior for our understanding of crime. The standard rational-choice crime model is refined by a behavioral approach, which proposes a decision model comprising cognitive and emotional decision systems. According to the behavioral approach, a criminal is not irrational but rather ‘ecologically rational,’ outfitted with evolutionarily conserved decision modules adapted for survival in the human ancestral environment. Several important cognitive as well as emotional factors for criminal behavior are discussed and formalized, using tax evasion as a running example. The behavioral crime model leads to new perspectives on criminal policy-making.

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Article provided by De Gruyter in its journal Review of Law & Economics.

Volume (Year): 8 (2012)
Issue (Month): 1 (June)
Pages: 181-213

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Handle: RePEc:bpj:rlecon:v:8:y:2012:i:1:n:8
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