Source: (2004) Journal of Socio-Economics. 33: 175-188.

Catherine Lawson and JoAnne Katz begin this essay with the observation that, within the discipline of economics, discussions of juvenile crime and other criminal justice issues generally proceed from the “economic model of crime.â€? This model emphasizes the role of incentives in shaping criminal behavior and in providing levers for the conduct of public policy. A different model of juvenile crime emphasizes moral factors – for example, issues of moral strengthening or moral decay, and the presence or lack of an understanding of right and wrong. Lawson and Katz posit that the emerging “balanced and restorative justiceâ€? approach offers an understanding of crime and justice that may help to bridge the theoretical divide between the economic model and the moral model.