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Title:At the mercy of the prisoner next door: Using an experimental measure of selfishness as a criminological tool PDF Logo
Authors:Chmura, Thorsten
Engel, Christoph
Englerth, Markus
Pitz, Thomas
Issue Date:2010
Series/Report no.:Preprints of the Max Planck Institute for Research on Collective Goods 2010,28
Abstract:Do criminals maximise money? Are criminals more or less selfish than the average subject? Can prisons apply measures that reduce the degree of selfishness of their inmates? Using a tried and tested tool from experimental economics, we cast new light on these old criminological questions. In a standard dictator game, prisoners give a substantial amount, which calls for more refined versions of utility in rational choice theories of crime. Prisoners do not give less than average subjects, not even than subjects from other closely knit communities. This speaks against the idea that people commit crimes because they are excessively selfish. Finally those who receive better marks at prison school give more, as do those who improve their marks over time. This suggests that this correctional intervention also reduces selfishness.
Subjects:Crime
Prison
Dictator Game
Experiment
Hurdle Model
JEL:C34
C91
K14
K42
Document Type:Working Paper
Appears in Collections:Preprints of the Max Planck Institute for Research on Collective Goods

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