Being very attractive reduces a young adult’s propensity for criminal activity and being unattractive increases it. Being very attractive is also positively associated with wages and with adult vocabulary test scores, which implies that beauty may have an impact on human capital formation. The results suggest that a labor market penalty provides a direct incentive for unattractive individuals toward criminal activity. The level of beauty in high school is associated with criminal propensity seven to eight years later, which seems to be due to the impact of beauty in high school on human capital formation, although this avenue seems to be effective for females only.
Criminal Recidivism after Prison and Electronic Monitoring — by Rafael Di Tella, Ernesto SchargrodskyPosted: December 28, 2009
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Criminal Recidivism after Prison and Electronic Monitoring — by Rafael Di Tella, Ernesto Schargrodsky
We study the re-arrest rates for two groups: individuals formerly in prison and individuals formerly under electronic monitoring (EM). We find that the recidivism rate of former prisoners is 22% while that for those a€treated’ with electronic monitoring is 13% (40% lower). We convince ourselves that the estimates are causal using peculiarities of the Argentine setting. For example, we have almost as much information as the judges have when deciding on the allocation of EM; the program is rationed to only some offenders; and some institutional features (such as bad prison conditions) convert ideological differences across judges (to which detainees are randomly matched) into very large differences in the allocation of electronic monitoring.
Daniel J. SmithSent Via Mobile Phone
I really like this JEP piece on the economics of on-line crime by Tyler Moore, Richard Clayton and Ross Anderson ( http://www.aeaweb.org/articles.php?doi=10.1257/jep.23.3.3 ) for a few reasons:
1. The article is filled with softball lob questions and statements calling for more regulation that libertarian-minded economists with computer knowledge can and should knock out of the park. I recently read David Friedman’s “Future Imperfect,” and I didn’t realize how important of a book it was until I read this piece. Internet security and crime is a fertile ground for spontaneous order stories, self-enforcement and self-regulation. One part of the article notes how in the U.K., the police units specializing in Internet crime rely on funding from the banking industry (as it should be).
One example is that they compare security software firms to Akerlof’s markets for lemons model, arguing that it is hard to discern the quality of the security of software. Though I agree it is hard for a consumer to be able to understand the complexities of computer codes and their weaknesses, there are several organizations that test and rate this security software. A company that persistently creates vulnerable software will be weeded out through the testing process and news releases.
2. One anecdote explains how private security companies use to keep their virus lists private, in order to beat out competitors in trials that would see which product was able to stop the most viruses. The security industry, realizing that they would all be better off, agreed at the EICAR conference to sharing their virus lists with competitors. This is an example of a self-enforcing coordination operating (as opposed to a prisoner’s dilemma collusion problem).
3. They discuss, certainly not in enough depth, how laws that make it criminal to possess any child sex material, regardless of the circumstance, prevents private companies (ISPs etc.) from hunting down and taking down these sites as finding them entails possessing it, even if it is just as an on-screen image.
4. Finally, the paper, in the conclusion, states “This collective action problem is best dealt with by private-sector information sharing, as it was 15 years ago in the world of computer viruses.”