Imperfect rationality, tipping, and deterrence

Robert Frank’s column in Sunday’s New York Times focuses on When Brute Force Fails.

Robert Frank’s “Economic View” column in Sunday’s NYT focuses on When Brute Force Fails, catching both of the central analytic themes:  that severity is no substitute for certainty and that enforcement scarcity builds a positive-feedback loop into crime rates.   He also notes that the “dynamic concentration” strategy can apply to regulatory enforcement as well as police work.

Author: Mark Kleiman

Professor of Public Policy at the NYU Marron Institute for Urban Management and editor of the Journal of Drug Policy Analysis. Teaches about the methods of policy analysis about drug abuse control and crime control policy, working out the implications of two principles: that swift and certain sanctions don't have to be severe to be effective, and that well-designed threats usually don't have to be carried out. Books: Drugs and Drug Policy: What Everyone Needs to Know (with Jonathan Caulkins and Angela Hawken) When Brute Force Fails: How to Have Less Crime and Less Punishment (Princeton, 2009; named one of the "books of the year" by The Economist Against Excess: Drug Policy for Results (Basic, 1993) Marijuana: Costs of Abuse, Costs of Control (Greenwood, 1989) UCLA Homepage Curriculum Vitae Contact:

One thought on “Imperfect rationality, tipping, and deterrence”

  1. "…enforcement scarcity builds a positive-feedback loop into crime rates…."

    This is why business-on-customer and business-on-employee crime is so rampant; business has been effectively unaccountable for decades. These problems are vastly more harmful and their solution more urgent than individual-on-individual crime.

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