- The Oxford Handbooks in Criminology and Criminal Justice
- The Oxford Handbook of White-Collar Crime
- Core Themes in the Study of White-Collar Crime
- The Roots and Variant Definitions of the Concept of “White-Collar Crime”
- Theoretical, Empirical, and Policy Implications of Alternative Definitions of “White-Collar Crime”: “Trivializing the Lunatic Crime Rate”
- What Is Known and What Should Be Known About White-Collar Crime Victimization?
- The Costs of White-Collar Crime
- Who Commits White-Collar Crime, and What Do We Know About Them?
- White-Collar Criminals: Ethnographic Portraits of Their Identities and Decision Making
- The Pool of Potential White-Collar Criminals: Whence?
- Middle-Class Crime: Moral Economies Between Crime in the Streets and Crime in the Suites
- Gender Constructions
- Adolescent Precursors of White-Collar Crime
- White-Collar Criminal Participation and the Life Course
- Developmental Perspectives on White-Collar Criminality
- White-Collar Crimes of the Financial Crisis
- Organizational Political Economy and White-Collar Crime
- Economic Fluctuations and Crises
- Cultural Variation
- Criminal Decision Making in Organizational Contexts
- Opportunities for White-Collar Crime
- Employee Theft
- Criminogenic Organizational Properties and Dynamics
- Organizational Self-Restraint
- Oversight and Rule Making as Political Conflict
- Regulation: From Traditional to Cooperative
- Comparing Assumptions Underlying Regulatory Inspection Strategies: Implications for Oversight Policy
- The Credibility of Oversight and Aggregate Rates of White-Collar Crime
- Investigating and Prosecuting White-Collar Criminals
- Sentencing Respectable Offenders
- Effects on White-Collar Defendants of Criminal Justice Attention and Sanctions
- White-Collar Crime and Perceptual Deterrence
- The Practical Challenges of Responding to Corporate Crime
- Public Opinion and Public Policy on White-Collar Crime
Abstract and Keywords
In the wake of the 2008 financial crisis, the elite individual and corporate actors whose actions precipitated the collapse largely escaped criminal prosecution. While not all of these actions were illegal, many were, and these actions were potentially subject to criminal charges. Despite the significant public harm associated with these actions, civil penalties have been the preferred instrument of formal social control deployed in response to the crisis, with only one Wall Street Executive receiving prison time. This is in contrast to the general contemporary tendency toward criminalization of street crime. This chapter explores the complex causal structure underlying the non-criminalization of lawbreaking connected to the crisis, including the intersecting structural and agentic forces leading to the behaviors in question, collective definitions of these actions, and the roles played by the arrangements and interconnections of organizational, market, and legal systems.
Spencer Headworth, MS, is a PhD Candidate in the Department of Sociology at Northwestern University and a Research Assistant at the American Bar Foundation.
John L. Hagan, PhD, is John D. MacArthur Professor of Sociology and Law at Northwestern University and a Senior Research Fellow at the American Bar Foundation.
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