Private protection against crime when property value is private information
This paper analyzes private precautions against crime when the value of the property to be protected is private information. In a framework in which potential criminals can choose between different crime opportunities, we establish that decentralized decision-making by potential victims may lead to suboptimal levels of investment in private protection. This outcome is possible when observable precautions inform potential offenders about the value at risk even when the diversion effect due to private safety measures is taken into account.
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