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Individual Decision-Making to Commit a Crime: Early Models

  • Roman Horvath

    (Faculty of Social Sciences, Charles University + Central European University)

  • Eva Kolomaznikova

    (Faculty of Social Sciences, Charles University)

The authors provide the summary of the most important findings of the early models of economics of crime, namely the models of Becker, Ehrlich and Heineke. These models study rational individual decision-making about entering into illegal activities. Probability and siže of punishment, attitudes towards risk, gains form crime and income are the main variables which causes the results of the individual behavior. The authors also discuss weaknesses of these models such as its static nature or ignoring interactive decision-making. The relationship to the theory of optimal law enforcement is also presented.

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Paper provided by EconWPA in its series Law and Economics with number 0210001.

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Length: 18 pages
Date of creation: 11 Oct 2002
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:wpa:wuwple:0210001
Note: Type of Document - Word PC; pages: 18
Contact details of provider: Web page: http://econwpa.repec.org

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  1. Polinsky, Mitchell & Shavell, Steven, 1979. "The Optimal Tradeoff between the Probability and Magnitude of Fines," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 69(5), pages 880-91, December.
  2. Nuno Garoupa, 2000. "Optimal magnitude and probability of fines," Economics Working Papers 454, Department of Economics and Business, Universitat Pompeu Fabra.
  3. 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.
  4. Singh, Balbir, 1973. "Making honesty the best policy," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 2(3), pages 257-263, July.
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