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Coddling Fatalistic Criminals: A Dynamic Stochastic Analysis of Criminal Decision-Making

O'Flaherty, Brendan Andrew

Decision makers who confront a long sequence of criminal opportunities act differently from those who confront a single opportunity. If the sequence is long enough, people will take big chances in return for very small gains, even if the provability of detection is very great and the scale of punishment very large. Risk neutral people will appear to love risk. For long enough sequences of future opportunities, raising the probability of detection increases the amount of crime committed, rather than lowering it. Constitutional safeguards are an important deterrent to crime.


More About This Work

Academic Units
Department of Economics, Columbia University
Department of Economics Discussion Papers, 9697-19
Published Here
March 3, 2011


May 1997

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