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The dynamics of neighbourhood watch and norm enforcement


Huck, S; Kosfeld, M (2007). The dynamics of neighbourhood watch and norm enforcement. Economic Journal, 117(516):270-286.

Abstract

We propose a dynamic model of neighbourhood watch schemes. While the state chooses punishment levels, apprehension of criminals depends on the watchfulness of citizens. We show that, contrary to standard intuition, crime levels can increase in punishments. This is because neighbourhood watch schemes can fall victim to their own success if recruitment of new members is driven by fear of crime - a finding that is in line with the empirical literature. We discuss the policy implications of this result and show how it extends to the more general problem of norm enforcement among interacting citizens.

Abstract

We propose a dynamic model of neighbourhood watch schemes. While the state chooses punishment levels, apprehension of criminals depends on the watchfulness of citizens. We show that, contrary to standard intuition, crime levels can increase in punishments. This is because neighbourhood watch schemes can fall victim to their own success if recruitment of new members is driven by fear of crime - a finding that is in line with the empirical literature. We discuss the policy implications of this result and show how it extends to the more general problem of norm enforcement among interacting citizens.

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7 citations in Web of Science®
13 citations in Scopus®
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Additional indexing

Item Type:Journal Article, refereed, original work
Communities & Collections:03 Faculty of Economics > Department of Economics
Dewey Decimal Classification:330 Economics
Language:English
Date:January 2007
Deposited On:08 Apr 2008 09:14
Last Modified:05 Apr 2016 12:22
Publisher:Wiley-Blackwell
ISSN:0013-0133
Additional Information:The definitive version is available at www.blackwell-synergy.com
Publisher DOI:https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1468-0297.2007.02011.x

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