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For Adam Smith, a crime is not the result of a rational calculation of loss and gain but the consequence of envy and a vain desire to parade wealth to attract the approbation of others, combined with a natural systematic bias in overestimating the probability of success. Similarly, Smith does not conceive of legal sanctions as a rational deterrent but as deriving from the feeling of resentment. While the prevailing approach of the eighteenth century is a rational explanation of crime and adoi:10.1017/s1053837220000437 fatcat:2vq2s3unsjeqtnfqwhuq72nhsa