The economics of shoplifting

dc.contributor.authorCobb, William Ervinen
dc.description.abstractThe controversy revolving around the motivation of criminals was mediated. "Irrationality" was discussed within the context of imperfect information on the part of decision-makers--an irrational action being defined as one for which expected benefits from the action exceed expected costs, but for which the actual costs exceed the actual benefits. Within this context, the number of criminal offenses was said to be a function of four variables: (1) the probability of apprehension; (2) the punishment per offense; (3) a portmanteau variable representing such things as alternative income sources and moral turpitude; and (4) the level of "knowledge" or perception which the potential criminal possesses about the first three of these variables. Using this model, the crime of shoplifting was examined first from the point of view of the retail merchant and then from the viewpoint of the potential shoplifter. It was shown that, because of his profit-maximizing nature, the retailer neither should nor does attempt to alter the first three variables included in the offense function--those variables relating to an actual "state of the world"--but that the merchant does attempt to affect the fourth variable, the thief's perception of the actual state of the world. The analysis of the actual costs and benefits of shoplifting revealed that, under certain restrictive assumptions, the net benefits of shoplifting were positive for a sample population of shoplifters.en
dc.description.degreePh. D.en
dc.format.extentviii, 162 leavesen
dc.publisherVirginia Polytechnic Institute and State Universityen
dc.relation.isformatofOCLC# 40046337en
dc.rightsIn Copyrighten
dc.subject.lccLD5655.V856 1973.C62en
dc.titleThe economics of shopliftingen
dc.type.dcmitypeTexten Polytechnic Institute and State Universityen D.en


Original bundle
Now showing 1 - 1 of 1
Thumbnail Image
7.25 MB
Adobe Portable Document Format