Journal Articles

Stigma and Self-Fulfilling Expectations of Criminality

1996, Journal of Law and Economics

Eric Bennett Rasmusen


A convicted criminal suffers not only from public penalties, but from stigma, the reluctance of others to interact with him economically and socially. Conviction can convey useful information about a person, which makes stigmatization an
important and legitimate function of the criminal justice system, quite apart from moral considerations. Whether stigma will operate in this way depends on expectations and the crime rate, however, which can lead to multiple, pareto-ranked equilibria with different amounts of crime and stigma.


Rasmusen, Eric Bennett (1996), "Stigma and Self-Fulfilling Expectations of Criminality," Journal of Law and Economics, Vol. 39, October, 519-544.  

Kelley School of Business

Faculty & Research