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Title:Status-seeking in criminal subcultures and the double dividend of zero-tolerance PDF Logo
Authors:Dur, Robert
Issue Date:2006
Series/Report no.:CESifo working paper 1762
Abstract:This paper offers a new argument for why a more aggressive enforcement of minor offenses (‘zero-tolerance’) may yield a double dividend in that it reduces both minor offenses and more severe crime. We develop a model of criminal subcultures in which people gain social status among their peers for being ‘tough’ by committing criminal acts. As zero-tolerance keeps relatively ‘gutless’ people from committing a minor offense, the signaling value of that action increases, which makes it attractive for some people who would otherwise commit more severe crime. If social status is sufficiently important in criminal subcultures, zerotolerance reduces crime across the board.
JEL:K14
K42
Document Type:Working Paper
Appears in Collections:CESifo Working Papers, CESifo Group Munich

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