chapter  1
105 Pages

A Law and Economics Approach to Group-based Criminal Laws and Criminal Street Gangs

WithLiza Vertinsky

This chapter provides an economic model of a criminal street gang to illustrate the potential dangers of adopting group-based liability without consideration of the organization and incentive structure of the criminal group. It explores the current statutory framework governing group-based crimes, including recent developments in statutory approaches towards criminal street gangs. The chapter also explores a simple economic model of a criminal street gang that is used to demonstrate some of the ways in which policy variables might impact upon the activities of a criminal group. It discusses the need for a closer integration of legal and economic analysis in the design of effective group-based criminal laws. The chapter further presents an alternative law and economics approach to group crime which is motivated by the belief that criminal laws should be based on an understanding of the nature and structure of the criminal organization.