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Review of Law & Economics

Editor-in-Chief: Parisi, Francesco / Engel, Christoph

Ed. by Cooter, Robert D. / Gómez Pomar, Fernando / Kornhauser, Lewis A. / Parchomovsky, Gideon / Franzoni, Luigi Alberto

CiteScore 2018: 0.32

SCImago Journal Rank (SJR) 2018: 0.274
Source Normalized Impact per Paper (SNIP) 2018: 0.493

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Volume 8, Issue 1


On the Behavioral Economics of Crime

Frans A.A.M. van Winden / Elliott Ash
Published Online: 2012-06-28 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.1515/1555-5879.1591


This paper examines the implications of the brain sciences’ mechanistic model of human behavior for our understanding of crime. The standard rational-choice crime model is refined by a behavioral approach, which proposes a decision model comprising cognitive and emotional decision systems. According to the behavioral approach, a criminal is not irrational but rather ‘ecologically rational,’ outfitted with evolutionarily conserved decision modules adapted for survival in the human ancestral environment. Several important cognitive as well as emotional factors for criminal behavior are discussed and formalized, using tax evasion as a running example. The behavioral crime model leads to new perspectives on criminal policy-making.

About the article

Published Online: 2012-06-28

Citation Information: Review of Law & Economics, Volume 8, Issue 1, Pages 181–213, ISSN (Online) 1555-5879, DOI: https://doi.org/10.1515/1555-5879.1591.

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