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Lecture 9

Lecture 9

Course Code
ECN 340
Thomas Barbiero

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Law, Crime and Punishment
Some acts are legal in some countries, but not in others. You can sell things at a profit in
Canada, but not in Cuba. But certain acts are illegal everywhere else
The Economics of Law:
Burglary is illegal practically everywhere and most find it immoral
Generally, victim looses more than the burglar gains. Thus, the victim pays a “higher”
Robin Hood was praised for taking from the rich and giving it to the poor
1960’s – Ripping off the system (the government) was O.K.
Why not make stealing O.K.?
oWould increase the cost of living in society
oInvest more time into protection; loose time to do productive activities
oBurglars will have to invest more time as well; burglars will have to specialize
and thus become a segment of the labour force
***Standard of living drops***
The Cost of Crime:
Some individuals (criminals) can increase lifetime earnings though crime
These same individuals can increase status among socio-economic peer groups
There will begood” and “bad” criminals, just like there areA students and “D
Criminals have to invest in tools, skills, storage, etc
If it is an organization, they have to meet payroll, including sales and administrative
personnel (as in a firm)
The loan shark, has to accumulate financial capital
oLoan shark is a person who offers unsecure loans at high interest rates, often
backed by blackmail and/or treats of violence
Specialists in armed robbery must:
1. Find site and map it out
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