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Lessons from the Economics of CrimeWhat Reduces Offending?$
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Philip J. Cook, Stephen Machin, Olivier Marie, and Giovanni Mastrobuoni

Print publication date: 2013

Print ISBN-13: 9780262019613

Published to MIT Press Scholarship Online: May 2014

DOI: 10.7551/mitpress/9780262019613.001.0001

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Crime Economics in Its Fifth Decade

Crime Economics in Its Fifth Decade

(p.1) Crime Economics in Its Fifth Decade
Lessons from the Economics of Crime

Philip J. Cook

Stephen Machin

Olivier Marie

Giovanni Mastrobuoni

The MIT Press

The economics of crime has been an active field of research for nearly 50 years. Among its contributions to the study of crime and crime control are these: A normative framework for evaluation of criminal justice policies; Use of sophisticated quantitative methods to analyze the causes of crime and the effects of crime-control measures in this framework; a conception of criminal behavior as individual choice, influenced by perceived consequences; and the aggregation of individual choices to a systems framework for understanding crime rates and patterns. Thus the economists have brought with them a strong presumption that criminal behavior can be usefully modeled using the same conceptual apparatus that economic science has developed for risky decision making, labor supply, consumer and firm behaviour, and even market structure and performance. This “technology transfer” to the criminal domain, initiated by Gary Becker in 1968, has proven productive for both scholars and policymakers.

Keywords:   Crime, Economics, Methodology, History of thought

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