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Status Concerns as a Motive for Crime?

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  • Florian Baumann
  • Tim Friehe

Abstract

This paper analyzes the implications of potential offenders caring about their relative status. We establish that subjects' status concerns can result in multiple-equilibrium crime rates and may modify the standard comparative-statics results regarding how the crime rate changes in response to a higher detection probability and higher sanctions. In addition, we argue that the socially optimal level of the detection probability and the sanction will often be higher when potential offenders care about their relative positions. Our analysis can be linked to one of the most important criminological theories of crime, namely strain theory.

Suggested Citation

  • Florian Baumann & Tim Friehe, 2013. "Status Concerns as a Motive for Crime?," CESifo Working Paper Series 4225, CESifo.
  • Handle: RePEc:ces:ceswps:_4225
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    1. Baumann, Florian & Friehe, Tim, 2015. "Status concerns as a motive for crime?," International Review of Law and Economics, Elsevier, vol. 43(C), pages 46-55.

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    crime; status; deterrence; multiple equilibria; strain theory;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • H23 - Public Economics - - Taxation, Subsidies, and Revenue - - - Externalities; Redistributive Effects; Environmental Taxes and Subsidies
    • K42 - Law and Economics - - Legal Procedure, the Legal System, and Illegal Behavior - - - Illegal Behavior and the Enforcement of Law

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