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Stigma and Social Control

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  • Lawrence E. Blume

    (Cornell University)

Abstract

Social interactions provide a set of incentives for regulating individual behavior. Chief among these is stigma, the status loss and discrimination that results from the display of stigmatized attributes or behaviors. The stigmatization of behavior is the enforcement mechanism behind social norms. This paper models the incentive effects of stigmatization in the context of undertaking criminal acts. Stigma is a flow cost of uncertain duration which varies negatively with the number of stigmatized individuals. Criminal opportunities arrive randomly and an equilibrium model describes the conditions under which each individual chooses the behavior that, if detected, is stigmatized. The comparative static analysis of stigma costs differs from that of conventional penalties. One surprising result with important policy implications is that stigma costs of long duration will lead to increased crime rates.

Suggested Citation

  • Lawrence E. Blume, 2003. "Stigma and Social Control," Game Theory and Information 0312002, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  • Handle: RePEc:wpa:wuwpga:0312002
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    File URL: https://econwpa.ub.uni-muenchen.de/econ-wp/game/papers/0312/0312002.pdf
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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Lawrence Blume & Steven Durlauf, 2003. "Equilibrium Concepts for Social Interaction Models," International Game Theory Review (IGTR), World Scientific Publishing Co. Pte. Ltd., vol. 5(03), pages 193-209.
    2. Lawrence E. Blume, 1995. "Evolutionary Equilibrium with Forward-Looking Players," Game Theory and Information 9509001, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    3. Matsui Akihiko & Matsuyama Kiminori, 1995. "An Approach to Equilibrium Selection," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 65(2), pages 415-434, April.
    4. 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.
    5. Zhou Lin, 1994. "The Set of Nash Equilibria of a Supermodular Game Is a Complete Lattice," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 7(2), pages 295-300, September.
    6. Blume Lawrence E., 1993. "The Statistical Mechanics of Strategic Interaction," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 5(3), pages 387-424, July.
    7. Young, H Peyton, 1993. "The Evolution of Conventions," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 61(1), pages 57-84, January.
    8. Kandori, Michihiro & Mailath, George J & Rob, Rafael, 1993. "Learning, Mutation, and Long Run Equilibria in Games," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 61(1), pages 29-56, January.
    9. Frank A. Cowell, 1990. "Cheating the Government: The Economics of Evasion," MIT Press Books, The MIT Press, edition 1, volume 1, number 0262532484, December.
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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Anderlini, Luca & Terlizzese, Daniele, 2017. "Equilibrium trust," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 102(C), pages 624-644.
    2. Newbery, D., 2008. "Predicting market power in wholesale electricity markets," Cambridge Working Papers in Economics 0837, Faculty of Economics, University of Cambridge.
    3. Marcel Fafchamps & Christine Moser, 2003. "Crime, Isolation and Law Enforcement," Journal of African Economies, Centre for the Study of African Economies (CSAE), vol. 12(4), pages 625-671, December.
    4. Durlauf, Steven N. & Fafchamps, Marcel, 2005. "Social Capital," Handbook of Economic Growth, in: Philippe Aghion & Steven Durlauf (ed.), Handbook of Economic Growth, edition 1, volume 1, chapter 26, pages 1639-1699, Elsevier.
    5. ÖZGÜR, Onur & BISIN, Alberto, 2011. "Dynamic Linear Economies with Social Interactions," Cahiers de recherche 04-2011, Centre interuniversitaire de recherche en économie quantitative, CIREQ.
    6. Cervellati, Matteo & Vanin, Paolo, 2013. "“Thou shalt not covet”: Prohibitions, temptation and moral values," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 103(C), pages 15-28.
    7. Durlauf, Steven N. & Fafchamps, Marcel, 2005. "Social Capital," Handbook of Economic Growth, in: Philippe Aghion & Steven Durlauf (ed.), Handbook of Economic Growth, edition 1, volume 1, chapter 26, pages 1639-1699 Elsevier.

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    stigma; social control; social norms; crime;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • C7 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Game Theory and Bargaining Theory
    • D8 - Microeconomics - - Information, Knowledge, and Uncertainty

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