White-Collar Crime: An Exploration of Diversity and Similarity Across Nations

Ineke Haen Marshall, University of Nebraska at Omaha

This paper examines white collar in a comparative perspective. Only fairly recently has systematic information about these kinds of illegal activities become available, mostly in the industrialized nations. These sources--some of which are criminological research studies, others are case studies, news paper accounts, and government reports--suggest that, despite considerable cross-national variation in the prevalence and seriousness of such behavior--there are certain international commonalities in the phenomenon of white collar crime. Commonalities are found in (1) the employed criminological and popular explanations; (2) the typical social response to this form of illegal behavior; and (3) the positive social-economic functions which are served by certain forms of white collar crime (i.e., it fills voids in government policy). International differences in white collar crime are diminishing as a result of new technology (in particular information and communication technology). International corporations play a role of growing importance.

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Updated 05/20/2006