Stigma and Social Control

Blume, Lawrence (July 2002) Stigma and Social Control. Former Series > Working Paper Series > IHS Economics Series 119


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Abstract: Social interactions provide a set of incentives for regulating individual behavior. Chief among these is stigma, the status loss and discrimination that results from the display of stigmatized attributes or behaviors. The stigmatization ofbehavior is the enforcement mechanism behind social norms. This paper models the incentive effects of stigmatization in the context of undertaking criminal acts. Stigma is a flow cost of uncertain duration which varies negatively with the number of stigmatized individuals. Criminal opportunities arrive randomly and an equilibrium model describes the conditions under which each individual chooses the behavior that, if detected, is stigmatized. The comparative static analysis of stigma costs differs from that of conventional penalties. One surprising result with important policy implications is that stigma costs of long duration will lead to increased crime rates.;

Item Type: IHS Series
Keywords: 'Crime' 'Stigma' 'Social norms'
Classification Codes (e.g. JEL): C730, Z130
Date Deposited: 26 Sep 2014 10:37
Last Modified: 26 Sep 2019 16:21
ISBN: 1605-7996

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