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Governmental Action, Social Norms, and Criminal Behavior

  • Patricia Funk

This article explores the relationship between governmental deterrence, crime, and the strength of social norms against crime. Based on experimental research in psychology and economics, I argue that the strength of the social norm of "not committing a crime" is shaped by social interactions. Modeling these social interactions exhibits self-reinforcing processes of crime and multiple equilibria. As for the impact of governmental deterrence, I show that harsher governmental deterrence reduces crime directly as well as indirectly through its impact on social norms.

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Article provided by Mohr Siebeck, Tübingen in its journal Journal of Institutional and Theoretical Economics.

Volume (Year): 161 (2005)
Issue (Month): 3 (September)
Pages: 522-

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Handle: RePEc:mhr:jinste:urn:sici:0932-4569(200509)161:3_522:gasnac_2.0.tx_2-o
Contact details of provider: Web page: http://www.mohr.de/jite

Order Information: Postal: Mohr Siebeck GmbH & Co. KG, P.O.Box 2040, 72010 Tübingen, Germany
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