I love the Becker analysis of crime, but there is one big assumption in it. What if criminals aren't rational actors? In the case of these recent car thefts, if the primary perps are kids trying to get publicity on social media, it is quite possible that they are not properly considering the costs of their actions were they to be caught. A felony conviction has enormous consequences that they may not be aware of. Thinking of my own kids, they don't understand just how important their grades are for future scholarships to college, and consequently the debt they will have to repay in the future. No matter how much we explain it to them, they just don't have the context to comprehend the financial impact a couple of C's on their report card can have. Young car thieves surely have a similar problem. As great as the Becker approach is, and I hate saying this, could it be an example of economic theory failing to grasp reality?

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