Anja Shortland is a professor of political economy at King’s College, London who specializes in the economics of crime. She is the author of Kidnap: Inside the Ransom Business and Lost Art: The Art Loss Register Casebook Volume One.What We Discuss with Anja Shortland: How many people are kidnapped every year for ransom, and how many actually return from the ordeal alive? What incentives do kidnappers have to treat hostages nonviolently and bargain for their release in good faith? How do insurers keep vulnerable clients from letting down their guard once a policy has been obtained? The protection theory that explains how crime organizations (e.g., the mafia) effectively stabilize the kidnap-for-ransom industry. Why offering a higher ransom than demanded is the worst strategy for ensuring a hostage's safe release. And much more...
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