Opportunity is Everything: A New Model of Crime
Abstract: This study introduces a new theoretical model to analyze crime. The model sees criminals as rational actors, but whose rationality is limited by a natural inclination to commit crime and by external pressures. Before deciding to commit a crime, the potential offender will individually weigh opportunities to commit crimes as they are presented and will offend if the expected benefits equal or exceed the expected losses. Additionally, this model envisions an economic market for crime as one in which the criminal sits on the demand side and chooses to “purchase” an opportunity if the price is right. This analysis draws from the behavioral model of crime known as the Fraud Triangle developed in 1950, as well as several economic models of crime that were developed starting in the late 1960’s.
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