Encyclopedia of Law and Economics

2019 Edition
| Editors: Alain Marciano, Giovanni Battista Ramello

Crime: Economics of, Different Paradigms

  • Sven GrünerEmail author
  • Norbert Hirschauer
Reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-1-4614-7753-2_695


Economics of crime describes the attempt to explain rule-breaking behaviors based on the assumption that people make purposive choices under conditions of scarcity.

Economics of Crime: Different Paradigms

Economics of crime can be broadly defined as the attempt to explain rule-breaking behaviors based on the assumption that people make purposive choices under conditions of scarcity. People’s choice sets regularly contain both permissible and illicit choices. Illicit choices do not always constitute criminal acts in terms of violations of the criminal law. However, throughout this entry we use crime, illegal behavior, illicit choice, noncompliance, offense, and rule breaking as interchangeable terms for the infringement of formal (codified) rules. Economics of crime includes the analysis of economic crimeand white-collar crime such as corruption, patent infringements, or the violation of industrial safety laws, but it explicitly applies economic approaches to the study of...

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Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Agribusiness Management, Institute of Agricultural and Nutritional SciencesMartin Luther University Halle-WittenbergHalle (Saale)Germany