William Bonger's Economic Theory of causation of Crime
1. Topic-William Bonger’s Economic Theory.
Submitted to- Dr. Ritu Gautam.
School of Law
Submitted by – Yashvardhan Singh
LLM (Criminal Law)
2. William A Bonger has lined criminlaity with economy. He derieved his
conclusions after an intensive study of econmic conditions prvailing in
different socialist countries in the first half of the 20t century.
He stated that capitalism is one of the potential causes of criminality
because the system created an atmosphere for promoting selfish
tendencies in men.
Commenting on the co realationship between economic conditions and
crime, WA Bonger concludes:
1. he prepared a statistical data and demonstrated that almost 79% of
the criminals belong to non profitabel class. Thus, he tried to establish a
co realationship between poverty and delinquency.
2. he further observed that influence of economic conditions on
delinquency is essentially due to the capitalist economy which breeds
disparity and leads to unequal distribution of wealth. The capitalist
resort to hoarding and monopolistic tendencies that create artifical
scarcity ad consequent rise in prices.
this in turn stops production which ultimately lead to unemployment of
labour as a result of which offences such as alcholism, vagrancy,
begging, assault, violence etc. Record an upward trend.
3. Another feature of capitalism harming economy is competitive tendency
among entrepreneurs. Efficiency, low production cost and better quality
of products are some of the admirable results of competitive economy.
But when these features fail to meet the competition , unlawful devices
such as violation of trade mark laws, IPR, are committed by
manufacturers. This gives rise to increase in crime rates.
Another aspect of capitalist economy is involvement of children and
women in industries. Inspite of effective legislation child labour is
Article 18 of the united nations convention on the rights of the child
1989 prohibits involvement of children for works which are harmful for
their health, or for physical, metal, social and moral development.
Why child labour cannot be completely eradicated from our society?
t has been observed that employment of children as labour is in itself a
potential cause for crimes because a child his wages does not know
how to spend it wisely. He may spend his money on undesirable items
such as smoking, gambling, stalking, womanising etc.
4. Employment of women also has a
demora,ising effect on children. With the
outdoor occupational activities of mothers,
the children are not properly looked after.
They can be victimised..( discuss)
Also greed for money in a capitalist state may
also induce women to engage in immoral
acts. Also, the conditions of working eomen
5. His ‘economic theory of crime is criticised by many jurist on
Charles goring conducted a research on 3000 criminals to
establish a relationship between their occupation and frequency
of committing crime has shown that poverty has no coreklation
Prof. Cohen said that honesty is not a monopoly of only rich
persons, many people lead an honest and upright life despite
their extremely poor conditions.
Gabriel trade... The french criminologist held that capitalism
cannot solely be blamed... Rather it’s a a man lust and
greediness which is responsible for crime.
Lastly bonger’s theory is criticised when he said crime is
committed bcoz of need.... Many times its a greed of big
politicians, businessman whic is responsible for cimes like
falsification of accounts, tax evasions, hoarding, infringement of
IPR, Black marketing etc.