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Criminological theory in the digital age: The case of social learning theory and digital piracy

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  • Morris, Robert G.
  • Higgins, George E.

Abstract

To date, few studies had attempted to extend existing theories of crime to technology driven crimes, such as digital piracy. To address this gap in the literature, this study explored the ability of Akers' social learning theory in explaining the likelihood of engaging in digital piracy. Also explored was the extent to which the social learning process mediated the impact of several noteworthy correlates of digital piracy among college students attending different universities (n = 585), relying on a structural equation modeling (SEM) framework. The findings were modestly supportive of social learning theory as it may apply to digital piracy. The findings are discussed in the context of extending existing theories of crime to account for contemporary technology driven crimes, such as digital piracy. Policy implications and direction for future research are discussed.

Suggested Citation

  • Morris, Robert G. & Higgins, George E., 2010. "Criminological theory in the digital age: The case of social learning theory and digital piracy," Journal of Criminal Justice, Elsevier, vol. 38(4), pages 470-480, July.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:jcjust:v:38:y::i:4:p:470-480
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Rob, Rafael & Waldfogel, Joel, 2006. "Piracy on the High C's: Music Downloading, Sales Displacement, and Social Welfare in a Sample of College Students," Journal of Law and Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 49(1), pages 29-62, April.
    2. Zentner, Alejandro, 2006. "Measuring the Effect of File Sharing on Music Purchases," Journal of Law and Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 49(1), pages 63-90, April.
    3. Michel Norbert J, 2006. "The Impact of Digital File Sharing on the Music Industry: An Empirical Analysis," The B.E. Journal of Economic Analysis & Policy, De Gruyter, vol. 6(1), pages 1-24, September.
    4. Stan J. Liebowitz, 2005. "Pitfalls in Measuring the Impact of File-sharing on the Sound Recording Market," CESifo Economic Studies, CESifo, vol. 51(2-3), pages 435-473.
    5. Liebowitz, Stan J, 2006. "File Sharing: Creative Destruction or Just Plain Destruction?," Journal of Law and Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 49(1), pages 1-28, April.
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    Cited by:

    1. McCuddy, Timothy & Vogel, Matt, 2015. "Beyond Traditional Interaction: Exploring the functional form of the exposure-offending association across online network size," Journal of Criminal Justice, Elsevier, vol. 43(2), pages 89-98.

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