A Simple Model of Optimal Hate Crime Legislation
26 Pages Posted: 18 May 2004 Last revised: 5 Aug 2010
Date Written: May 2004
We present a simple model of the effects of hate crime legislation. It shows that even if the direct harm to victims of hate crime is the same as for other crimes, because of other differences in the effects it may still be optimal to exert more law-enforcement effort to deter or prevent hate crime. These differences also have previously unrecognized effects on the optimal level of effort by potential hate crime victims to avoid being victimized, thus affecting the efficiency of government policies that encourage or discourage such effort. We discuss the implications of these results for optimal hate-crime policy, as well as for policy toward other similar crimes, such as terrorism.
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