ABSTRACT

Economists analyze crime with the same approach they use to analyze other kinds of human behavior. Becker (1968) developed an economic model of crime and punishment, in an article that has had a great influence on subsequent research. Becker was not the first to analyze crime in economic terms; during the eighteenth century there were studies by Montesquieu (1748), Beccaria (1770), and Bentham (1789), among others, but the field had long been dormant until Becker’s work, which launched the modern literature in this area.