Encyclopedia of Law and Economics

2019 Edition
| Editors: Alain Marciano, Giovanni Battista Ramello

Protective Factors

  • Norbert HirschauerEmail author
  • Sebastian Scheerer
Reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-1-4614-7753-2_387


Protective factors help people achieve positive outcomes despite exposure to potentially negative influences (in medicine, good health in spite of smoking cigarettes; in the social sciences, productive adult lives as law-abiding citizens despite adverse conditions during childhood and adolescence). In Law and Economics, the concept, in conjunction with control theories, contributes to a better understanding of why economic actors obey the law and comply with rules despite exposure to material incentives to the contrary. Protective factors can result from external sources (social control) and internal sources (internalized conventional values). They generate nonmaterial benefits in the case of compliance and/or nonmaterial costs in the case of noncompliance. The inclusion of protective factor into regulatory analysis – in combination with the consideration of risk factors that work in the opposite direction – helps to understand why some regulatory regimes work better than others. The concept can be especially useful when it comes to designing regulatory innovation based on a better understanding of why some economic actors obey the law and others don’t.

This is a preview of subscription content, log in to check access.


  1. Akerlof G, Kranton R (2010) Identity economics. Princeton University Press, PrincetonCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Ayres I, Braithwaite J (1992) Responsive regulation: transcending the deregulation debate. Oxford University Press, New YorkGoogle Scholar
  3. Braithwaite J (2002) Restorative justice and responsive regulation. Oxford University Press, New YorkGoogle Scholar
  4. Braithwaite V (2009) Defiance in taxation and governance: resisting and dismissing authority in a democracy. Edward Elgar, NorthamptonCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Brehm JW (1966) A theory of psychological reactance. Academic, New YorkGoogle Scholar
  6. Frey BS (1997) Not just for the money: an economic theory of motivation. Edward Elgar, CheltenhamGoogle Scholar
  7. Frey BS, Jegen R (2001) Motivation crowding theory: a survey of empirical evidence. J Econ Surv 15:589–611CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Garoupa N (2003) Behavioral economic analysis of crime: a critical review. Eur J Law Econ 15:5–15CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Gigerenzer G, Selten R (eds) (2001) Bounded rationality: the adaptive toolbox. MIT Press, CambridgeGoogle Scholar
  10. Gottfredson MR, Hirschi T (1990) A general theory of crime. Stanford University Press, StanfordGoogle Scholar
  11. Hess H, Scheerer S (2004) Theorie der Kriminalität. In: Oberwittler D, Karstedt S (eds) Kölner Zeitschrift für Soziologie und Sozialpsychologie. Sonderheft 43. Soziologie der Kriminalität, Wiesbaden, pp 69–92Google Scholar
  12. Hirschauer N, Bavorová M, Martino G (2012) An analytical framework for a behavioural analysis of non-compliance in food supply chains. Brit Food J 114:1212–1227CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. Hirschi T (1969) Causes of delinquency. University of California Press, BerkeleyGoogle Scholar
  14. Katz J (1988) Seductions of crime. Basic Books, New YorkGoogle Scholar
  15. Korobkin RB, Ulen TS (2000) Law and behavioral science: removing the rationality assumption from law and economics. Calif Law Rev 88:1051–1144CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. Lösel F, Bender D (2003) Resilience and protective factors. In: Farrington DP, Coid J (eds) Prevention of adult antisocial behaviour. Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, pp 130–204CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. Luhmann N (2000) Vertrauen, 4th edn. Lucius & Lucius, StuttgartGoogle Scholar
  18. Miron AM, Brehm JW (2006) Reactance theory: 40 years later. Z Sozialpsychol 37:9–18CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. Ostrom E (2005) Understanding institutional diversity. Princeton University Press, PrincetonGoogle Scholar
  20. Parisi F (2004) Positive, normative and functional schools in law and economics. Eur J Law Econ 18:259–272CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. Picciotto S (2002) Introduction: reconceptualizing regulation in the era of globalisation. In: Picciotto S, Campbell D (eds) New directions in regulatory theory. Blackwell, Oxford, pp 1–11Google Scholar
  22. Pinstrup-Andersen P (2005) Ethics and economic policy for the food system. Am J Agric Econ 87:1097–1112CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. Rees JV (1994) Hostages of each other: the transformation of nuclear safety since three Mile Island. Chicago University Press, ChicagoCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. Rubinstein A (1991) Comments on the interpretation of game theory. Econometrica 59:909–924CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  25. Scholz JT, Gray WB (1990) OSHA enforcement and workplace injuries: a behavioral approach to risk assessment. J Risk Uncertainty 3:283–305CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  26. Simon HA (1957) Models of man: social and rational. Wiley, New YorkGoogle Scholar
  27. Tittle CR (2000) Theoretical developments in criminology. Crim Justice 1:51–101Google Scholar

Further Reading

  1. Braithwaite J (2008) Regulatory capitalism: how it works, ideas for making it work better. Edward Elgar, NorthamptonCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Coleman JS (1987) Norms as social capital. In: Radnitzky G, Bernholz P (eds) Economic imperialism. The economic method applied outside the field of economics. Paragon House Publisher, New York, pp 133–155Google Scholar
  3. Englerth M (2010) Der beschränkt rationale Verbrecher: Behavioral Economics in der Kriminologie. LitVerlag, BerlinGoogle Scholar
  4. Thomas N, Baumert A, Schmitt M (2012) Justice sensitivity as a risk and protective factor in social conflicts. In: Kals E, Maes J (eds) Justice and conflicts: theoretical and empirical contributions. Springer, Berlin/Heidelberg, pp 107–120Google Scholar
  5. Tittle CR (1995) Control balance. Towards a general theory of deviance. Westview Press, BoulderGoogle Scholar
  6. Tyler TR (1990) Why people obey the law. Princeton University Press, PrincetonGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Agribusiness Management, Institute of Agricultural and Nutritional SciencesMartin-Luther-University Halle-WittenbergHalle (Saale)Germany
  2. 2.Institute for Criminological Social Research, Faculty of Economics and Social SciencesUniversity of HamburgHamburgGermany