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An Economic Theory of Deviance

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  • Jeong-Yoo Kim
  • Gang Lee

Abstract

We develop a model of deviance by incorporating the labeling effect into rational choice theory. In our model, we provide an explanation of the process through which a deviant is stigmatized and explore theoretically the relationship between the experience of having deviated and the incentive for deviation. Surprisingly, our study finds that an ex-deviant is not necessarily more likely to deviate, contrary to widely held belief. This is because the ex-deviant may hesitate to violate the norm one more time for fear of being labeled as a pathological deviant.

Suggested Citation

  • Jeong-Yoo Kim & Gang Lee, 2001. "An Economic Theory of Deviance," Journal of Institutional and Theoretical Economics (JITE), Mohr Siebeck, Tübingen, vol. 157(4), pages 499-499, December.
  • Handle: RePEc:mhr:jinste:urn:sici:0932-4569(200112)157:4_499:aetod_2.0.tx_2-w
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Gary S. Becker, 1968. "Crime and Punishment: An Economic Approach," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, pages 169-169.
    2. George A. Akerlof, 1980. "A Theory of Social Custom, of which Unemployment may be One Consequence," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, pages 749-775.
    3. 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.
    4. George A. Akerlof, 1980. "A Theory of Social Custom, of which Unemployment may be One Consequence," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, pages 749-775.
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    Cited by:

    1. Kim, Jeong-Yoo, 2006. "Hyperbolic discounting and the repeated self-control problem," Journal of Economic Psychology, Elsevier, pages 344-359.

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • K49 - Law and Economics - - Legal Procedure, the Legal System, and Illegal Behavior - - - Other

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