In economic models of crime, changing economic incentives alter the participation of individuals in criminal activities. We critically appraise the work in this area. After a brief overview of the workhorse economics of crime model for organizing our discussion on crime and economic incentives, we first document the significant rise of the economics of crime as a research field and then go on to review the evidence on the relationship between crime and economic incentives. We divide this discussion into incentives operating through legal wages in the formal labor market and the economic returns to illegal activities. Evidence that economic incentives matter for crime emerges from both.


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