Abstract for: Modeling the Cycles of Gang and Criminal Behavior

In a study done by Saeed and Pavlov a generic microstructure of resource competition was developed and stylized using the dynastic cycles that occurred throughout Chinese history. The result was a model that demonstrated how economic drivers contribute to the cycles observed in the rise and fall of dynasties and lawlessness. Using their structure, with only a few substitutions of names, the same model suitably describes numerous systems where similar cycles in resource levels can be observed. Yet, in some systems, such as gangs, the economic motivations alone do not adequately describe the social factors clearly evident in rise and fall of criminal behavior attributed to gangs. This paper explores the social influence gaps in the purely economic model, identifies a social structure that can be used instead of the economic mechanisms, and then examines implications of a model that combines both aspects of the system. The result of this research indicates that both economic and social influences are capable of producing cycles and when combined, only further exacerbate the problem. These findings have import implications on policy design, suggesting that solutions will need to simultaneously consider both aspects.