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Date: 14 June 2021 4 p.m. - 5:30 p.m.
Location: Max Planck Institute for the Study of Crime, Security and Law, Günterstalstraße 73, 79100 Freiburg im Breisgau
Contact Person: Dr. Carolin Hillemanns
Email: c.hillemanns@csl.mpg.de

Lecturer: Prof. Daniel Nettle (Professor of Behavioural Science at Newcastle University)

Join the Zoom Mee­ting:  ht­tps://mpic­sl-de.zoom.us/j/82625041483?pwd=T2lsc3VJc05k­czV­POUJVaD­VhVWZBZz09
Meet­ing-ID: 826 2504 1483
Ken­ncode: 474574

Great­er so­cioeco­nom­ic in­equal­ity is as­so­ci­ated with high­er crime rates. If this as­so­ci­ation is caus­al, it is un­clear how the pop­u­la­tion-level vari­able, in­equal­ity, af­fects de­cisions to of­fend in in­di­vidu­als’ heads. I will present a re­cent the­or­et­ic­al mod­el in which in­di­vidu­als strive to re­main their re­sources above a threshold of des­per­a­tion that is set by their so­cial con­text. Great­er in­equal­ity means more in­di­vidu­als who are at or be­low this threshold. It be­comes ra­tion­al for them to of­fend as a risky strategy to leap clear of it. This pro­duces a link between pop­u­la­tion-level in­equal­ity and in­di­vidu­al de­cision-mak­ing. Moreover, we show that in­creas­ing pun­ish­ment sever­ity un­der these as­sump­tions should not gen­er­ally ex­pec­ted to re­duce of­fend­ing. I present a frame­work for study­ing the as­sump­tions and pre­dic­tions of the mod­el in a multi-play­er in­centiv­ized eco­nom­ic game. Pre­lim­in­ary data are con­sist­ent with the pre­dic­tions of the mod­el. However, they are also con­sist­ent with sim­pler but still rel­ev­ant hy­po­theses that do not use the as­sump­tion of a des­per­a­tion threshold, such as that loss com­pared to some men­tal ref­er­ence point leads to frus­tra­tion and an­ger. We are cur­rently at­tempt­ing to test between these al­tern­at­ives. We hope that the ex­per­i­ment­al frame­work, re­gard­less of which way the res­ults fall out, is use­ful for un­der­stand­ing an­ti­so­cial mo­tiv­a­tions.