Encyclopedia of Law and Economics

2019 Edition
| Editors: Alain Marciano, Giovanni Battista Ramello

Crime: Expressive Crime and the Law

  • Martin A. LerochEmail author
Reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-1-4614-7753-2_59


Expressive crime contrasts with instrumental crime in that delinquents aim to “make a statement”, and not to “make a living”. This difference in motivation has important consequences for the deterrent effect of policies. Whereas policies aiming at expected material costs of perpetrators have often proven successful in deterring instrumental crime, they may fail to deter delinquents with expressive motivations. In some cases, perpetrators may even feel defied to increase their activity.

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© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Politics and EconomyJohannes Gutenberg Universität MainzMainzGermany