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NCJRS Abstract

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NCJ Number: 140372 Find in a Library
Title: Problem of White-Collar Crime Motivation (From White- Collar Crime Reconsidered, P 108-123, 1992, Kip Schlegel and David Weisburd, eds - See NCJ-140367)
Author(s): S Wheeler
Date Published: 1992
Page Count: 16
Sponsoring Agency: Northeastern University Press
Boston, MA 02115
Sale Source: Northeastern University Press
Managing Manager
360 Huntington Avenue
Boston, MA 02115
United States of America
Type: Research (Theoretical)
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: The motivations of white-collar offenders are discussed based on studies that have used concepts from recent research in microeconomics, social psychology, and risk management and from older concepts that involve symbolic interaction theory and use information from offenders' justifications of their crimes.
Abstract: Microeconomics has contributed the principle of diminishing marginal utility, according to which most people are averse to risk, while some are neutral to risk and others are risk seekers. For the latter, greed may be a personality trait, as demonstrated both by the fictional financier in the movie "Wall Street" and by the actual history of Leona Helmsley. In addition, greed may not be a unitary phenomenon. Instead, it may be either a true pathology of personality or a rationally motivated approach to risk taking. Obtaining direct accounts of offenders' throughts and experiences will be needed to explore these possibilities in more time. In the meantime, the presentence reports studied by Rothman and Gandossy as well as the author indicate that offenders were preoccupied with avoiding falling back rather than with getting ahead. In addition, Kahnemann and Tversky have developed an S-shaped loss function in which offenders' fear of falling below their current economic level is the main motivation for their crimes. Further research should examine these issues, as well as the possible existence of organizational and cultural parallels. Figures, notes, and 27 references
Main Term(s): White collar crime causes; White collar offenders
Index Term(s): Crime causes theory; Economic crime models; Offender attitudes; Perception; White collar crime
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