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Liberal versus conservative public policies on crime: What was the comparative track record during the 1990s?

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  • Ren, Ling
  • Zhao, Jihong
  • Lovrich, Nicholas P.
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    Abstract

    The purpose of this study was to examine the efficacy of social control and social support policies associated with conservative and liberal political ideologies with respect to violent crime in large U.S. cities during the 1990s. Eighty-five cities with populations of 150,000+ were included in the analysis; these cities accounted for fifty-two million urban area residents of the U.S. The use of the two-way, fixed-effect panel data method of statistical analysis enabled the authors to assess the relationship between change in local government expenditures for police and court services (social control) and expenditures on community development and park/recreation (support policy) and corresponding changes in crime rates documented within these cities. The findings indicated that expenditure on both police services and community development initiatives had significantly suppressive effects on crime in these cities during the period of the 1990s. It appeared that both conservative and liberal policies had their merits as effective countermeasures to crime.

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    Bibliographic Info

    Article provided by Elsevier in its journal Journal of Criminal Justice.

    Volume (Year): 36 (2008)
    Issue (Month): 4 (August)
    Pages: 316-325

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    Handle: RePEc:eee:jcjust:v:36:y:2008:i:4:p:316-325

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    Web page: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/jcrimjus

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    1. Gary S. Becker, 1968. "Crime and Punishment: An Economic Approach," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 76, pages 169.
    2. John Donohue & Steven Levitt, 2000. "The Impact of Legalized Abortion on Crime," NBER Working Papers 8004, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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    4. Raphael, Steven & Winter-Ebmer, Rudolf, 1999. "Identifying the Effect of Unemployment on Crime," CEPR Discussion Papers 2129, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    5. Worrall, John L., 2004. "The effect of three-strikes legislation on serious crime in California," Journal of Criminal Justice, Elsevier, vol. 32(4), pages 283-296.
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    7. Levitt, Steven D, 1997. "Using Electoral Cycles in Police Hiring to Estimate the Effect of Police on Crime," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 87(3), pages 270-90, June.
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    9. Stephen Machin & Costas Meghir, 2004. "Crime and Economic Incentives," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 39(4).
    10. Hsiao,Cheng, 2003. "Analysis of Panel Data," Cambridge Books, Cambridge University Press, number 9780521818551.
    11. Steven D. Levitt, 2004. "Understanding Why Crime Fell in the 1990s: Four Factors that Explain the Decline and Six that Do Not," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 18(1), pages 163-190, Winter.
    12. David M. Drukker, 2003. "Testing for serial correlation in linear panel-data models," Stata Journal, StataCorp LP, vol. 3(2), pages 168-177, June.
    13. Marvell, Thomas B & Moody, Carlisle E, 2001. "The Lethal Effects of Three-Strikes Laws," The Journal of Legal Studies, University of Chicago Press, vol. 30(1), pages 89-106, January.
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