Essay on Government Policies And The Economics Model Of Crime

Essay on Government Policies And The Economics Model Of Crime

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In this essay I will attempt to dissect the correlation between government policies and events and their likely impact on crime based on the economics model of crime. Crime as defined by Becker covers “All violations, not just felonies – like murder, robbery, and assault, which receive so much newspaper coverage – but also tax evasion, the so-called white-collar crimes, and traffic and other violations” (Becker, 1968, p.170). Crime is a daily occurrence in the society and there are numerous government policies that impact crime both directly and indirectly. Hence this essay will first look at various government policies in the different countries and its effects towards crimes such as the implementation of minimum wage, education level of a nation, increased of policing in certain areas, and the effect of punishment.

The economic model of crime as introduced by Becker is as shown in the equation below,

U(WL ) < (1 − p) ∗ U(WC ) − p ∗ U(S)
· U(WL): Utility derived from legal work
· P: likelihood of getting caught when engaging in criminal activity
· U(WC): Utility from successful crime (only if not caught, happens with probability 1 – p)
· U(S): Disutility from punishment when getting caught (happens with probability p)

According to the model, criminals do not suffer from social impediment or mental illness and instead choose to commit crimes by weighing the value of crimes against the legal alternatives. This was a ground breaking finding as the utility gained from committing crimes possibly outweighs the disut...

... middle of paper ...

... predicted by the economic model of crime.

In crux, this essay has demonstrated that government policies and society’s crime rates are interlinked and tend to correlate most of the time. The stigmatisation of criminals being social ills are in fact a reflection on quality of life they are living in which they are willing to engage in criminal activity and risked getting caught rather than choosing the legal alternative. According to the economic model of crime, criminal activities will only be conducted if the utility gained from crime is higher than the probability of getting caught and disutility of punishment. Government policies such as the implementation of minimum wage, relevant policies on raising education level in a country, increase of policing, as well as the severity of punishment through incarceration are all effective policies in reducing crime rates.

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