Social osmosis and patterns of crime
Raaj K. Sah
Journal of Political Economy, Volume 99, Number 6, December 1991, pages 1272-1295.
Click here to download the PDF of the paper
Crime and the fear of crime have a deep negative impact on personal and societal well-being. Several observed patterns regarding criminal behavior, however, remain inadequately understood. In this analysis, individuals' perceptions (concerning their probabilities of punishment) and choices are determined endogenously, while incorporating the information available to them and how this information is generated within the economy. The resulting dynamic relationships are then studied to examine how criminality might evolve over time, why crime participation rates might differ among societal groups even when they face similar economic fundamentals, and how the features of the economy might affect these rates.
Economics of crime, Volume 1, edited by Isaac Ehrlich and Zhiqiang Liu. In: The international library of critical writings in economics, edited by Mark Blaug. Edward Elgar, Cheltenham, UK, 2006.
Previous working versions include:
“Social osmosis and patterns of crime: A dynamic economic analysis.” Yale University, Department of Economics. Economic Growth Center, Center discussion paper number 609. March 1990.
“Social osmosis and patterns of crime: A dynamic economic analysis.” University of Toronto, Faculty of Law. Law and Economics Workshop Series, WS 1987-88-(8). February 1988.