Punishing White-Collar Crime in Canada: Issues With the Economic Model of Crime and Punishment

Authors

  • Michelle De Haas

Abstract

White-collar crime differs from other types of crime in both how the public perceives it and the socio-economic standing of the typical perpetrators. Nevertheless, white-collar crime has significant negative social and economic effects. In formulating deterrents against white-collar crimes, economic models using cost-benefit analyses that fix relative values to fines and incarceration have been influential. However, these economic models are not in keeping with judicial sentencing in Canada and do not accurately reflect current criticisms about the social inequalities associated with fines and incarceration. Economic models contend that large fines reinforced by possible incarceration are the best sentencing deterrent for white-collar crimes in Canada. Yet, as this article argues, a better approach is preventing white-collar crimes through government regulation and corporate structures that eliminate opportunities for criminal conduct.

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Published

2021-10-02

Issue

Section

Articles