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The economics of pre-crime interventions

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  • Peter Wijck

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Abstract

Several observers suggest that we may have undergone a shift from a post-crime to a pre-crime society in which the principal focus has become the pursuit of security by anticipating and forestalling future harms, rather than responding retrospectively to harms that have actually happened. This paper is about the economics of pre-crime interventions. It investigates the welfare consequences of risk assessment and early interventions to prevent individuals from engaging in criminal activities. Furthermore, it deals with the question of what constitutes an optimal application of risk assessment and early intervention. Finally, it presents three rules of thumb to identify conditions where pre-crime intervention may be welfare enhancing. Copyright The Author(s) 2013

Suggested Citation

  • Peter Wijck, 2013. "The economics of pre-crime interventions," European Journal of Law and Economics, Springer, vol. 35(3), pages 441-458, June.
  • Handle: RePEc:kap:ejlwec:v:35:y:2013:i:3:p:441-458
    DOI: 10.1007/s10657-011-9229-8
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    File URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10.1007/s10657-011-9229-8
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Kirstein, Roland & Schmidtchen, Dieter, 1997. "Judicial detection skill and contractual compliance," International Review of Law and Economics, Elsevier, vol. 17(4), pages 509-520, December.
    2. 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.
    3. Miceli, Thomas J., 2010. "A model of criminal sanctions that incorporate both deterrence and incapacitation," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 107(2), pages 205-207, May.
    4. Shavell, Steven, 1987. "A Model of Optimal Incapacitation," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 77(2), pages 107-110, May.
    5. Ehrlich, Isaac, 1982. "The optimum enforcement of laws and the concept of justice: A positive analysis," International Review of Law and Economics, Elsevier, vol. 2(1), pages 3-27, June.
    6. Heiner, Ronald A, 1983. "The Origin of Predictable Behavior," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 73(4), pages 560-595, September.
    7. Matteo Rizzolli & Margherita Saraceno, 2009. "Better that X guilty persons escape than that one innocent suffer," Working Papers 168, University of Milano-Bicocca, Department of Economics, revised Jul 2009.
    8. Miceli, Thomas J, 1990. "Optimal Prosecution of Defendants Whose Guilt Is Uncertain," Journal of Law, Economics, and Organization, Oxford University Press, vol. 6(1), pages 189-201, Spring.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Risk Assessment; Early Intervention; K42;

    JEL classification:

    • K42 - Law and Economics - - Legal Procedure, the Legal System, and Illegal Behavior - - - Illegal Behavior and the Enforcement of Law

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