The Only Thing We Have to Fear Is Fear Itself: Investigating the Relationship Between Fear of Falling and White-Collar Crime
Criminologists have long been interested in understanding why people commit crime. Perhaps an even more interesting question is what accounts for the offending of individuals who occupy white-collar positions. Most explanations of white-collar offending have relied on extant criminological theories that have been developed to account for street or juvenile offending. One theoretical explanation that was specifically developed to explain white-collar crime is the fear of falling hypothesis or the notion that the motivation for crime is the fear of losing what one has worked so hard to obtain. This study presents the results of an original data-collection effort designed to test this hypothesis. Data collected among business-experienced adults indicate that the fear of falling is inversely related to intentions to price-fix but positively related to internal and legal constraints against price-fixing. Taken together, these results suggest that the fear of falling may serve as a reminder of the attainments that could be lost, should the illegality be committed.
Crime & Delinquency
Criminology not elsewhere classified