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Seinfeld Economics: The Baby Shower
by Linda Ghent `

The economics of crime is a field of study that uses economic theory, tools, and concepts (such as cost-benefit analysis, incentives, and rational behavior) to understand the determinants of crime and inform public policy on crime matters.

Cost-benefit analysis involves, whether explicitly or implicitly, weighing the total expected costs against the total expected benefits of one or more actions in order to choose the best or most profitable option. Rational agents are assumed to never take an action for which the expected benefits are less than the expected costs.

From an economist's perspective, making choices involves thinking 'at the margin' - that is, making decisions based on small changes in resources. Doing so leads to the optimal decisions being made, subject to preferences, resources and informational constraints.

An incentive is any factor (financial or non-financial) that enables or motivates a particular course of action, or counts as a reason for preferring one choice to the alternatives.

This Commentary is related to the following Clips:
Seinfeld: The Baby Shower by Larry David & Jerry Seinfeld (1991) Jerry does a cost -benefit analysis of installing illegal cable. He decides to commit the crime when he finds out there will be 75 televised Mets games on TV.