An Agent-Based Simulation of Car Theft: further evidence of the rational choice theory of crime

Luiz Marcelo Berger, Denis Borenstein


In recent years Brazil has been experiencing an improvement in socioeconomic indexes and, simultaneously, a troubling increase in urban criminality, either against the person or property, particularly those related to the so-called crimes of opportunity. The apparent contradiction challenges common claims concerning the correlation between wealth distribution and various types of urban offences. Using the agent-based computational model of criminal behavior developed in Berger, Borenstein & Balbinotto Neto (2010), this paper contributes to the debate by assessing police efficiency towards car theft tackling in the city of Porto Alegre. Results reveal that although police presence inhibits criminal activity in the short run, the evidence is inconclusive in the long run.


Car-Theft; Rational Choice; Computerized Simulation; Multiagent Systems; Porto Alegre


Economic Analysis of Law Review  -  ISSN 2178-0587

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