Behavior, Human Capital and the Formation of Gangs

KYKLOS, Vol. 63, No. 4, pp. 517-529, November 2010

24 Pages Posted: 20 Nov 2010 Last revised: 7 Jun 2011

See all articles by Antony Dnes

Antony Dnes

Hull University Business School (HUBS)

Nuno Garoupa

George Mason University - Antonin Scalia Law School, Faculty

Date Written: November 1, 2010

Abstract

Behavior in dysfunctional social groups is often regarded by social scientists as irrational in nature.We focus on many features of behavior within the street gang, also noting the existence of other gang-like groups, and show how apparently irrational behavior can signal the possession of valuable human capital. We contend that gangs are formed around particular traits of direct value to the group, and therefore of indirect value to the gang member, and construct a model with a separating equilibrium consistent with the existence of a large gap between the characteristics of gang members and the rest of society. Policy implications include a deduction that increasing the opportunities for gang members outside of life in the gang, perhaps through offering an amnesty, might reduce gangs but will unambiguously make remaining gangs even nastier.

Keywords: Gangs, Behavior, Integrity, Group Human Capital, Deterrence, Sanctions

JEL Classification: K14, K42

Suggested Citation

Dnes, Antony and Garoupa, Nuno, Behavior, Human Capital and the Formation of Gangs (November 1, 2010). KYKLOS, Vol. 63, No. 4, pp. 517-529, November 2010. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1711721

Antony Dnes (Contact Author)

Hull University Business School (HUBS) ( email )

Hull, HU6 7RX
United Kingdom
44-1482-465875 (Phone)
44-1482-466216 (Fax)

Nuno Garoupa

George Mason University - Antonin Scalia Law School, Faculty ( email )

3301 Fairfax Drive
Arlington, VA 22201
United States

Register to save articles to
your library

Register

Paper statistics

Downloads
36
Abstract Views
628
PlumX Metrics