Perhaps surprisingly, contract killers are not as highly paid as you would have thought.
Publishing in the Taylor & Francis journal Review of Social Economy, author Samuel Cameron attempts to dispel the myths behind the economy of crime, paying specific attention to contract killings with his article "Killing for Money and the Economic Theory of Crime."
No economist (and even very few criminologists or psychologists) has researched paid killing, adding to the importance of Cameron’s work in the field of economics. There is a wealth of literature on the economics of crime, although most attention is devoted to the deterrence of crime, rather than the contentious issue of contract killing.
Detailed research on this topic is long over-due – the last detailed analysis of contract killings was data taken during 1989-2002 in Australia. Cameron provides fresh evidence taken from a small sample of paid killing cases in the UK from data collected in June 2011 spanning offences from 1972 to 2011. Key sources have also been consulted, such as the Daily Telegraph, Guardian, Daily Mail, and the BBC.
The material and discussion presented in this article draw attention to the fact that the majority of paid killings take place for very small sums much lower than the economic value of life and lower too than what one would expect as compensation for efforts and risks of the contract killer.
- Samuel Cameron. Killing for Money and the Economic Theory of Crime. Review of Social Economy, 2013; 1 DOI: 10.1080/00346764.2013.845336
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