"Crime" in the lab-detecting social interaction

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2002
Falk, Armin
Journal article
Published
Published in
European Economic Review ; 46 (2002), 4-5. - pp. 859-869. - ISSN 0014-2921. - eISSN 1873-572X
Abstract
According to the standard economic perspective, criminal activities vary with the ‘price’ of crime, which depends on the severity of punishment and the detection probability. An alternative view claims that crime is also influenced by social interaction phenomena, such as ‘peer pressure’ or ‘neighbourhood effects’. Detecting social interaction in the field is fraught with difficulties, however. In this paper, we argue that given its extensive control possibilities, experiments are well suited to show the potential existence of social interaction effects. We present an experimental study where people can engage in ‘criminal’ activities. We find support for the importance of social interaction: On average subjects steal the more, the more others steal. This behaviour can be interpreted in terms of reciprocity.
330 Economics
Keywords
Social interaction; Conditional cooperation; Crime; Reciprocity; Experiments
Cite This
ISO 690FALK, Armin, Urs FISCHBACHER, 2002. "Crime" in the lab-detecting social interaction. In: European Economic Review. 46(4-5), pp. 859-869. ISSN 0014-2921. eISSN 1873-572X. Available under: doi: 10.1016/S0014-2921(01)00220-3
BibTex
@article{Falk2002-05Crime-39981,
year={2002},
doi={10.1016/S0014-2921(01)00220-3},
title={"Crime" in the lab-detecting social interaction},
number={4-5},
volume={46},
issn={0014-2921},
journal={European Economic Review},
pages={859--869},
author={Falk, Armin and Fischbacher, Urs}
}

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