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Economic Perspective of the Crime Control. Part 1
Tsurikov Vladimir Ivanovich

Professor, the department of Advanced Mathematics, Kostroma State Academy of Agriculture

156530, Russia, Kostroma Oblast, township of Karavaevo, Ucgebnyi Gorodok Street 34, office #211

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The subject of the research is the analysis and applicability of Gary Becker's economic approach to crime control. In his research Tsurikov opposes to the idea of individual's rational behavior being purely egoistic in the common sense thereof. According to the author, interpreting  maximizing behavior as self-interested can make us to deny the economic approach and, consequently, impede efficient application of the economic approach to describing and analyzing various social phenomena and processes. By using a rather simple mathematical example, the author illustrates how application of arguments that describe emotional states of other individuals to the utility function of a rational economic agent allows to present such economic agent not only as a heartless egoist but also as a man-hater or absolute altruist. Special attention is paid to the ideas of Gary Becker's predecessors, in particular, Cesare Beccaria and Jeremy Bentham. Detailed analysis is applied to a surprising similarity of conclusions regarding crime control that can be made on the basis of the economic approach and concept of a sociologist Émile Durkheim. While the economic approach proves that it is impossible to completely eliminate crime and that there is an optimal crime rate, social science presented by one of its founders postulates that every society has a normal and even 'useful' crime rate. Both approaches state that not all crimes must be solved and, therefore, some part of criminals should be left unpunished. 

Keywords: rational behavior, probability of punishment, severity of punishment, corruption, deterrent force, egoist, altruist, crime rate, crime, economic approach



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