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An interesting idea I hadn't thought about.

Bryan Caplan argues that criminals are not rational actors:
I think they may be less intelligent, have higher time-preference and less executive function, but it still makes sense to model them as rational actors. Oddly enough, Caplan has also said that the insane may be closer to homo economicus than the average person and they seem to resemble the "screwed up" criminal type:


Thanks for the links. I'm a big fan of Caplan's Szasz article.

I think the rational criminal school may be more expansive or more radically framed than what I mean to suggest about circumstantial deterrence, which I don't think is at all controversial. It's more like the gun-to-the-head test that Caplan uses to illustrate how incentives apply to those whose preferences may be pathologically weighted in one direction. Interviews with criminals provide ample evidence of rational incentive-based thinking in practical context, even if the underlying choices that lead someone to criminal behavior can be understood as irrational. If this weren't the case, rapists would be far more careless.

Dog trainers have been reporting (for some time now) on large numbers of aggressive Golden Retrievers. If you get one for a guard dog you should probably dye it black to increase the intimidation factor.


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