Chapter

Peaceable Kingdoms and War Zones: Preemption, Ballistics, and Murder in Newark

Brendan O'Flaherty and Rajiv Sethi

in The Economics of Crime

Published by University of Chicago Press

Published in print September 2010 | ISBN: 9780226153742
Published online February 2013 | e-ISBN: 9780226153766 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.7208/chicago/9780226153766.003.0010
Peaceable Kingdoms and War Zones: Preemption, Ballistics, and Murder in Newark

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This chapter focuses on the industrial organization of violence and describes that one of the hallmarks of the economics of crime is that it has produced a considerable body of work assigning rational motives to criminals but less work where the focus of the analysis is the use of rational strategies by these actors. This is paradoxical as it is difficult to believe that criminals make a rational, informed choice when they decide to become criminals. One approach is to go inside gangs and other criminal organizations to gather some of these data. The chapter discusses an alternative research approach, which is broadly undertaken to deduce aspects of these criminal strategies through the type of criminal acts undertaken. A basic finding is that areas with high murder respond more to changes in fundamentals such as the arrest rate and a shrinking police force, than those with low murder rates.

Keywords: violence; crime; criminals; criminal organizations; police force; murder; Newark

Chapter.  22616 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Economic Development and Growth

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