SELF‐INTEREST, EQUITY, AND CRIME CONTROL: A GAME‐THEORETIC ANALYSIS OF CRIMINAL DECISION MAKING

BRUCE BUENO DE MESQUITA, LAWRENCE E. COHEN

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    Abstract

    Employing the analytic technique of game theory, we attempt to answer questions about how individuals with different proclivities to use crime to accomplish ends, and different beliefs about society's fairness, are likely to respond to different incentives and disincentives that are derived from strain and neoclassical deterrence theories. Our analysis indicates that the crime control policies typically recommended by adherents of both theories are often logically invalid, given the premises upon which they are supposedly based. For example, our analysis suggests why punishment strategies like “three strikes and you're out” and “entitlement strategies” such as welfare and other short‐term redistributive payment programs fail to deter crime. Finally, after including notions of equity with traditional rational choice assumptions, our analysis identifies a mix of theoretically derived strategies that may more effectively deter crime.

    Original languageEnglish (US)
    Pages (from-to)483-518
    Number of pages36
    JournalCriminology
    Volume33
    Issue number4
    DOIs
    StatePublished - Nov 1995

    ASJC Scopus subject areas

    • Pathology and Forensic Medicine
    • Law

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