If only Butch Cassidy (left) and the Sundance Kid (right) went to an economics class. Economists at the Royal Statistical Society and American Statistical Association have published a study on the economics of bank robbery and determined that crime doesn’t pay after all . . . . at least not bank robbery.
The economists were asked to study economic effectiveness of adding security measures to bank branches. However, they felt that the first step was to look at bank robbery from the perspective of the bank robbers. What they concluded is that you would be better off working at a Winn Dixie.
It would seem that Butch would finally have an answer to questioning by Ella in Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid:
Butch Cassidy: Do you believe I’m broke already?
Etta Place: Why is there never any money, Butch?
Butch Cassidy: Well, I swear, Etta, I don’t know. I’ve been working like a dog all my life and I can’t get a penny ahead.
Etta Place: Sundance says it’s because you’re a soft touch, and always taking expensive vacations, and buying drinks for everyone, and you’re a rotten gambler.
Butch Cassidy: Well that might have something to do with it.
They looked at the average haul from a bank job over the three-year period, which came to only £20,330.50 ($31,613). Not a lot given the risk. However, they also factored in that on average there were 1.6 robbers involved in each heist. (I am not sure why security did not spot the .6 person walking into the bank without forty percent of his body). Taking that average, the haul was only “£12,706.60 per person per raid.”
This explains why Butch Cassidy was aghast at the money that the railroad president spent to catch him and noted “If he’d just pay me what he’s paying them to stop me robbing him, I’d stop robbing him.”
Obviously, that is even worse for some robberies with multiple felons. (A good reason to join other enterprises in downsizing in this economy). Yet statistically additional robbers were involved in jobs with a higher yield as was the use of a firearm.
The standard deviation on the £20,330.50 was £53,510.20 since many robberies failed and some did much better.
However, it is even worse in the United States where the average bank robbery nets only $4,330.00
Here the kicker “Given that the average UK wage for those in full-time employment is around £26,000, it will give him a modest life-style for no more than 6 months.” However, if you augment your income with multiple jobs, your chances of getting caught increases dramatically.
Now you take that dismal haul and apply the chances of success which are not good. One third failed — a rough 33 percent failure rate for this particular business model.
The conclusion is clear: you are better off with the rest of us slobs in the workforce. This does not even take into account the ultimate potential downside of this particular job description: