First published in 1999. This book provides a law and economics approach towards criminal gangs which integrates the tools of economic modelling with criminal law in order to understand and address a contemporary law enforcement problem. The book draws upon ideas from economics, law and law enforcement to investigate the nature and organizational structure of criminal gangs. Law and economics are employed in varying combinations and at varying levels of specificity to generate insights into the organization and behaviour of criminal gangs. These insights are applied to evaluate alternative legal approaches and to inform the design of a new criminal law approach towards criminal gangs. Attention is focused on the organization of criminal street gangs, both because the growth and increasing sophistication of these gangs offer special challenges for law enforcement and because of the potential contributions which such an understanding could yield for economists who have traditionally focused on the organizational structure of legitimate enterprises.
1. A Law and Economics Approach to Group-based Criminal Laws and Criminal Street Gangs 1. The American criminal law approach to group-based crimes 2. An economic model of a criminal street gang 3. Applications to common group-based criminal statutes 4. Conclusion 2. Modeling Criminal Street Gangs as Organizations 1.Survey of economic approaches to collective action with application to street gangs: i) in search of an economic methodology for group behaviour, ii) application of economic organization theories to street gangs, iii) conclusion 2. Criminal street gangs as institutions for enforcing agreements: i) self-enforceable agreements in extended relationships, ii) economic model of a gang as an institution for enforcing agreements, iii) conclusion 3. The Economic Organization of Drug Selling Gangs 1. Contemporary theories of gangs and gang organization 2. Economic model of gang organization 3.Applications of results to observed variations in gang organization 4.Conclusion.
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