Assignment: Economic Model of Rational Crime

In this assignment, you will create an economic model of rational crime.

For example, imagine a burglar is deciding which house to break into or a car thief is deciding which car to steal.

  • Explain how assumptions of rationality apply in this model.
  • What factors would a rational criminal take into account in deciding to commit a crime? Be sure to explain how economic models are used by economists to assess the example.
  • What would convince the criminal to do the deed? Explain the circumstances that would convince the criminal to do the deed. Address the concept of marginality and use your calculations of marginal changes as justification.
  • What are some policy implications of your economic model of rational crime? In other words, what does your model predict would cause an increase and a decrease in crime?
  • Use the distinction between positive and normative reasoning to explain the limits to using your economic model of rational crime to argue for capital punishment as punishment for burglary or car theft.

Rubric

Criteria Not Evident Developing Proficient Distinguished Weight
Explain the assumption of rationality by individuals or firms 3
Describe the factors a rational criminal takes into account in deciding to commit a crime, and provide support with economic model examples 4
Explain the circumstances that would convince the criminal to do the deed, and use the concept of marginality to justify 4
Explain the policy implications of the economic model of crime, and includes the model’s prediction 4
Explain how this model highlights the difference between positive and normative reasoning in arguing for capital punishment as punishment for burglary or car theft 4
Articulation of response (citations, grammar, spelling, syntax, or organization that negatively impact readability and articulation of main ideas.) 1
Total: 20