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Stigma and Self-Fulfilling Expectations of Criminality

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  • Rasmusen, Eric

Abstract

A convicted criminal suffers not only from public penalties but from stigma, the reluctance of others to interact with him economically and socially. Conviction can convey useful information about the convicted, which makes stigmatization an important and legitimate function of the criminal justice system quite apart from moral considerations. The magnitude of stigma depends on expectations and the crime rate, however, which can lead to multiple, Pareto-ranked equilibria with different amounts of crime. Copyright 1996 by the University of Chicago.

Suggested Citation

  • Rasmusen, Eric, 1996. "Stigma and Self-Fulfilling Expectations of Criminality," Journal of Law and Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 39(2), pages 519-543, October.
  • Handle: RePEc:ucp:jlawec:v:39:y:1996:i:2:p:519-43
    DOI: 10.1086/467358
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