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An Agent-Based Model of Mortality Shocks, Intergenerational Effects, and Urban Crime

Rational criminals choose crime over lawfulness because it pays better; hence poverty correlates to criminal behavior. This correlation is an insufficient historical explanation. An agent-based model of urban crime, mortality, and exogenous population shocks supplements the standard economic story, closing the gap with an empirical reality that often breaks from trend. Agent decision making within the model is built around a career maximization function, with life expectancy as the key independent variable. Rational choice takes the form of a local information heuristic, resulting in subjectively rational suboptimal decision making. The effects of population shocks are explored using the Crime and Mortality Simulation (CAMSIM), with effects demonstrated to persist across generations. Past social trauma are found to lead to higher crime rates which subsequently decline as the effect degrades, though \'aftershocks\' are often experienced.

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Article provided by Journal of Artificial Societies and Social Simulation in its journal Journal of Artificial Societies and Social Simulation.

Volume (Year): 9 (2006)
Issue (Month): 2 ()
Pages: 7

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Handle: RePEc:jas:jasssj:2005-68-3
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  2. Isaac Ehrlich, 1996. "Crime, Punishment, and the Market for Offenses," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 10(1), pages 43-67, Winter.
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  7. Edward L. Glaeser & Bruce Sacerdote, 1999. "Why Is There More Crime in Cities?," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 107(S6), pages S225-S258, December.
  8. Mathur, Vijay K, 1978. "Economics of Crime: An Investigation of the Deterrent Hypothesis for Urban Areas," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 60(3), pages 459-66, August.
  9. 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 405-33, October.
  10. Simon, Herbert A, 1986. "Rationality in Psychology and Economics," The Journal of Business, University of Chicago Press, vol. 59(4), pages S209-24, October.
  11. H. Naci Mocan & Hope Corman, 2000. "A Time-Series Analysis of Crime, Deterrence, and Drug Abuse in New York City," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 90(3), pages 584-604, June.
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