Crime, punishment and social norms
We analyze the interplay between economic incentives and social norms when individuals decide whether or not to engage in criminal activity. More specifically, we assume that there is a social norm against criminal activity and that deviations from the norm result in feelings of guilt or shame. The intensity of these feelings is here endogenous in the sense that they are stronger when the population fraction obeying the norm is larger. As a consequence, a gradual reduction of the sanctions against criminal activity, or of the taxation of legal incomes, may weaken the social norm against crime. Due to the potential multiplicity of equilibria in our model, such a gradual change may even induce a discontinuous increase in the crime rate. We show that law enforcement policies may have dramatic and permanent efects on the crime rate, and lead to hysteresis. We also define political equilibrium under majority rule and show how a majority of individuals, who feel no guilt or shame from violating the law, in political equilibrium can exploit a minority who do have such feelings.
|Date of creation:||10 Nov 2005|
|Date of revision:|
|Contact details of provider:|| Postal: |
Phone: +46-(0)8-736 90 00
Fax: +46-(0)8-31 01 57
Web page: http://www.hhs.se/
More information through EDIRC
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:
- Lindbeck, Assar & Nyberg, Sten & Weibull, Jörgen W., 2002.
"Social Norms and Welfare State Dynamics,"
Working Paper Series
585, Research Institute of Industrial Economics.
- Bruno S. Frey & Lars P. Feld, 2002. "Deterrence and Morale in Taxation: An Empirical Analysis," CESifo Working Paper Series 760, CESifo Group Munich.
- Pommerehne, Werner W & Weck-Hannemann, Hannelore, 1996. " Tax Rates, Tax Administration and Income Tax Evasion in Switzerland," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 88(1-2), pages 161-70, July.
- Rasmusen, Eric, 1996.
"Stigma and Self-Fulfilling Expectations of Criminality,"
Journal of Law and Economics,
University of Chicago Press, vol. 39(2), pages 519-43, October.
- Eric Rasmusen, 1995. "``Stigma and Self-Fulfilling Expectations of Criminality''," Law and Economics 9506001, EconWPA.
- Rasmusen, E., 1992. "Stigma and Self-Fulfilling Expectations of Criminality," Papers 92-019, Indiana - Center for Econometric Model Research.
- Allingham, Michael G. & Sandmo, Agnar, 1972. "Income tax evasion: a theoretical analysis," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 1(3-4), pages 323-338, November.
- Assar Lindbeck & Sten Nyberg & Jšrgen W. Weibull, 1999.
"Social Norms And Economic Incentives In The Welfare State,"
The Quarterly Journal of Economics,
MIT Press, vol. 114(1), pages 1-35, February.
- Lindbeck, Assar & Nyberg, Sten & Weibull, Jörgen W., 1997. "Social Norms and Economic Incentives in the Welfare State," Working Paper Series 476, Research Institute of Industrial Economics.
- Huck, Steffen & Kübler, Dorothea & Weibull, Jörgen W., 2010.
"Social Norms and Economic Incentives in Firms,"
IZA Discussion Papers
5264, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
- Bar-Gill, O. & Harel, A., 2000.
"Crime Rates and Expected Sanctions: The Economics of Deterrence Revisited,"
00-14, Tel Aviv.
- Bar-Gill, Oren & Harel, Alon, 2001. "Crime Rates and Expected Sanctions: The Economics of Deterrence Revisited," The Journal of Legal Studies, University of Chicago Press, vol. 30(2), pages 485-501, Part I Ju.
- Bar-Gill, O. & Harel, A., 2000. "Crime Rates and Expected Sanctions: The Economics of Deterrence Revisited," Papers 2000-14, Tel Aviv.
- Fender, John, 1999. "A general equilibrium model of crime and punishment," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 39(4), pages 437-453, July.
When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:hhs:hastef:0610. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.
For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Helena Lundin)
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.