Crime is a very diverse word that requires comprehensive analysis to define the threshold of d defining wrong as crime. However, the rule of law helps unraveling the puzzle of understanding the crime. Crime is defined as an act of causing harm to an individual or a group of people in the society. Moreover, committing certain crime may draw the attention of the government or state. Some of the crimes that contravene the morally accepted code include rape, murder, theft and many others. These crimes have different levels of punishment as defined the laws of a country.
For an immoral activity to qualify as a crime the law states that the act of must be accompanied by the intention to commit something bad. However, the law recognizes certain exceptions that restrict the crime to attain the threshold of strict liability.
The courts of law bear the sole responsibility of determining a crime and the level of punishment to accompany the crime.
According to the article “crime and punishment” the author describes crime and punishment where punishment must accompany a crime committed. This punishment must be imposed on the offender. To prove that a person is the culpable of the accused offences, the state, through the court of law must invest time and resources to prove their case and eventually impose punishment. This social phenomenon has an economic impact to the country. If loopholes exist while determining the case and the accused is found innocent, the country’s economy is adversely affected in terms of legal cost and redress to the accused.
In every economic phenomenon, whether qualitative or quantitative, dependent and independent variables must be determined. According to economic model approach, an independent variable is an element which is subject to change due to changes in key factors called independent variables. Independent variables are subject to change from exogenous variables outside the model.
- Delimiting: In this section the analyst restricts his area of study to essential limited factors that impact immensely on the main variable
2 Naming: The analyst designs a conceptual framework model which separates the dependent variables from the independent variable. He constructs a mathematical model to show the relationship of the variables.
3 Solution: From the model, a solution in form of numeric coefficients is obtained to deliver the intended information about the subject of discussion.
4 Interpretation: the solutions are interpreted to reflect the qualitative aspect of the subject of discussion.
In this section, the author identified all the key factors that affect the efforts of combating crime and restricted to the factors that bear the greatest impact. The dependent variable was the amount of enforcement required to mitigate crime. Independent variables include cost of arresting and convicting culprits, the nature of punishment e.g. imprisonment or fines and the response of offenders to changes in enforcement.
Cost of crime
According to the statistics in the article, consolidating resources to combat crime is costly to the economy especially the developing nations which are prone to increased wave of crime. President’s commission of 1967 report indicated that crime accounted to approximately annual amount of 21million dollars .This was a significant amount that covered legal and counsel costs and other miscellaneous costs accrued by people in safeguarding their properties.
Naming and Model construction
According to the four-part frame work, naming is separated into two categories: catalogue of correspondence and mathematical part of construction. Catalogue of correspondence involves a conceptual framework of all independent variables and the main dependent variable. This forms the basis of designing a mathematical model using the variables to show the interrelationship of the variables.
For a model to be economically relevant to the economists and other stakeholders, it must satisfy two key conditions these conditions are:
- All elements in the model must have their own interpretation to show the boundary of representation
- The elements actions must only interact within the context of the model to avoid ambiguous results an eventually mislead the economic interpretation.
The economic effect of crime is imposed on both financial and social aspects. Social economic effects include peace instability which could only be qualitatively interpreted. The author delimited his main variable to the cost of crime. Economically, quantitative method of analysis is preferred as it has few loopholes for misinterpretation. The values obtained are discrete and enables transparent interpretation. In combating, crime the main quantitative approach is studying the utilization of money as the main resource used by the state to mitigate crime in a country.
It would be worth noting that the author had highlighted cost of crime as on if independent factors that determine the extent of enforcement applied by state in eradicating crime. However, using four-part framework, the author has delimited his main variable to the cost of crime. The dependent variables will be the behavioral relations that result in variations in cost used to fight crime. This is a strategic economic approach since it cautions the author from ambiguous deductions. This is the reason why quantitative approach of analysis is highly credited than qualitative method of economic analysis.
The behavioral relationships that determine the level of cost are the number of offenses and the cost, number of offenses and the level of punishment imposed, number of offenses, arrests and convictions and the expenditure on police and in courts, number of convictions and the costs of imprisonment or any other kind of punishment and number of offenses and non public expenditure accrued on protection and apprehension.
According to the crime rule, when an act of harm qualifies as crime it causes individual and societal damage. The extent of damage proportionately increases with the number of offenses committed by the offenders. Offenders are rational in their act and therefore would maximize utility by increasing their level of criminal activities. However, the law of diminishing returns applies and the frequency of crime occurrence rises in a decreasing manner. The net social loss is the difference between harm and offender’s gain. This deduction is logical since a thief’s utility will be determined by the number of thefts he succeeds in.
Cost of apprehension and conviction
Any state will invest more on its security forces to combat crime and the courts to convict culprits. Using four-part framework approach one can interrelate the number of court personnel and security forces to the number of offenses made and the culprits. The higher the cost of hiring police forces, the higher the level of crime. However, this may not be the obvious because crime is unpredictable. Therefore, since the government is rational, it will proactively hire extra police force and court personnel to combat unforeseeable future crimes. Therefore, the model should create an allowance of probability of anticipation of increase in criminal activities.
Supply of offenses
The supply of offences involves the spread in the individual number of offences committed. Offenders are rational in their acts. Therefore, an offender will assess the benefits and costs of committing the criminal activity. For instance, a person will choose to steal if his conscience convinces him that he will not be caught and if caught, the punishment cost will not exceed his gains.
Punishment imposed on offenders depends on the criminal activity committed. Petty offences attract lenient punishments. For example, driving while drunk may invite suspension of Driver’s license for six months. Serious offences may attract imprisonment, fines or probation.
Economically, the four part framework interrelate the impact of punishment on the economy. The government incurs food and personnel costs to sustain and guard offenders in juvenile homes. This is a social cost. Moreover, fines imposed by the court on offenders are gain to the government and a loss to the offender. Even though the social cost equates to zero, the economy suffers from reduce labor skills.
In summary of the article, the author reference of using an economic model to interpret a social problem is feasible. The four-part framework model is the basic foundation of constructing a model which is not ambiguous. Therefore, crime is a social phenomenon that affects the economy of a nation.
Becker, Gary S. "Crime and Punishment:" Chicago journal 76.2 (1968): 169-217. Web. 18 Nov. 2010.