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The Economics of Crime by Zagros Madjd-Sadjadi

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CHAPTER 3

Game Theory and the Victim/Perpetrator Calculus

One issue with subjective probability is actions of the criminal influence probability of apprehension. A serial killer commands a higher proportion of law enforcement resources than a serial purse-snatcher. In a sense, the serial killer and law enforcement play a “game” of “cat and mouse” where each move influences the next set of moves.

Game theory is a method of analyzing strategic interactions between different individuals, firms, or groups. Each such entity is referred to as a “player;” each possible decision is known as a “strategy;” the amount each player receives from playing his strategy against an opponent’s strategy is called a “payoff;” and the actual interactions undertaken ...

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