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date: 05 May 2021

Abstract and Keywords

This chapter discusses the economic approach to crime. By applying the tools of economic analysis and econometric methodology, it serves as a unified approach for understanding illegal behaviour as part of human behaviour in general. It offers new insights about the relative efficiency and desirability of means of crime control and components of the law enforcement system. The economic approach, and the “market model” linking it to the general methodology used by economists to study and interpret the general economy, remains a work in progress, because the data are not available to the degree they are collected and reported in other areas of economic inquiry. It is still too early to assess the degree to which the various econometric studies have produced accurate estimates of critical behavioral relationships underlying variations and conflicting trends of crime. Progress depends on better data and more complete implementations of the comprehensive model of crime.

Keywords: crime, criminal law, economic analysis, law enforcement, crime control, criminal behavior

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