Behavioural economics mysteries: trying to solve theories of crime

I was previously unfamiliar with criminal justice website The Marshall Project, but I really enjoyed this article on crime reduction theories.

Founded in behavioural economics, the articles lists 10 possible reasons why crime in the United States has dropped so consistently over 20 years from the 1990s to 2010. It’s essentially a summary of many theories, with the potential flaws in each described by three different academics in the field of criminal justice. The great conclusion of the article seems to be the complete lack of certainty in an otherwise fascinating field.

This is one thing that holds me back from getting too engrossed in behavioural economics – it seems easy to get mired in theory: to postulate theories on subjects whose “ultimate cause” is too interdependent and complex to easily unravel.


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