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Search for a theory of organized crimes

  • Chang, Juin-Jen
  • Lu, Huei-Chung
  • Wang, Ping

Casual empirical observations reveal no systematic relationship between the overall crime rate and organized criminal activity. We develop a search-theoretic framework to study the interactions not only between formal labor and crime sectors but also between individual and organized crimes. In equilibrium, individual and organized criminals face different arrest risks, success rates, reward structures and outside options. We characterize agents' “occupational choices,” the gang's hierarchical structure and the responses of unemployment, crime rates and crime composition to changes in labor-market conditions and crime-deterrence policies. We further assess the effectiveness of arrest versus punishment policies in deterring individual and organized crimes.

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Article provided by Elsevier in its journal European Economic Review.

Volume (Year): 62 (2013)
Issue (Month): C ()
Pages: 130-153

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Handle: RePEc:eee:eecrev:v:62:y:2013:i:c:p:130-153
Contact details of provider: Web page: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/eer

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  1. Juin-Jen Chang & Huei-Chung Lu & Mingshen Chen, 2005. "Organized Crime or Individual Crime? Endogenous Size of a Criminal Organization and the Optimal Law Enforcement," Economic Inquiry, Western Economic Association International, vol. 43(3), pages 661-675, July.
  2. Sah, Raaj K, 1991. "Social Osmosis and Patterns of Crime," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 99(6), pages 1272-95, December.
  3. Diamond, Peter A, 1984. "Money in Search Equilibrium," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 52(1), pages 1-20, January.
  4. 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.
  5. Kenneth Burdett & Ricardo Lagos & Randall Wright, 2002. "Crime, Inequality, and Unemployment, Second Version," PIER Working Paper Archive 03-029, Penn Institute for Economic Research, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania, revised 01 Sep 2003.
  6. Steven D. Levitt & Sudhir Alladi Venkatesh, 2000. "An Economic Analysis Of A Drug-Selling Gang'S Finances," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 115(3), pages 755-789, August.
  7. Nuno Garoupa, 1997. "The economics of organized crime and optimal law enforcement," Economics Working Papers 246, Department of Economics and Business, Universitat Pompeu Fabra, revised Dec 1997.
  8. Nuno Garoupa, 1999. "Optimal law enforcement and criminal organization," Economics Working Papers 366, Department of Economics and Business, Universitat Pompeu Fabra.
  9. Eric D. Gould & Bruce A. Weinberg & David B. Mustard, 2002. "Crime Rates And Local Labor Market Opportunities In The United States: 1979-1997," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 84(1), pages 45-61, February.
  10. Imrohoroglu, A. & Merlo, A. & Rupert, P., 2000. "What Accounts for the Decline in Crime?," Working Papers 00-11, C.V. Starr Center for Applied Economics, New York University.
  11. Abdalla Mansour & Nicolas Marceau & Steeve Mongrain, 2001. "Gangs and Crime Deterrence," Cahiers de recherche CREFE / CREFE Working Papers 138, CREFE, Université du Québec à Montréal.
  12. Conley, John P. & Wang, Ping, 2006. "Crime and ethics," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 60(1), pages 107-123, July.
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