August 3, 2005EconomySecurity

The economics of espionage

An Indian army non-commissioned officer and his retired Indian Air Force non-commissioned officer father have been caught spying for Pakistan. Last year, a high-ranking Indian intelligence officer escaped the country. He was spying, presumably for the United States.

This is an archived blog post from The Acorn.

The politics of espionage is an oft-discussed, if not well-understood issue. What about its economics? If politics, patriotism and morality are excluded, are there purely economic factors that cause some people to be spies? Hundreds of thousands of Indian soldiers and air-men as paid as little as this spying duo, but the actual number of spies is (hopefully) very small in comparison. What then makes spies spies?

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