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Unobserved heterogeneity bias when estimating the economic model of crime

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  • Todd Cherry

Abstract

Using unique and unpublished panel data from selected US cities, the paper investigates the consequences of ignoring unobserved heterogeneity in the unit of observation when estimating the economic model of crime. Results confirm that neglecting to control for unobserved heterogeneity overstates the ability of sanctions to deter criminal activity. Further, this upward bias is found to vary significantly across crime types. Interestingly, heterogeneity is insignificant in the tightly reported crimes of murder and auto-theft while being significant in assault, robbery, burglary and larceny where individuals and police have greater discretion in reporting.

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File URL: http://www.informaworld.com/openurl?genre=article&doi=10.1080/135048599352349&magic=repec&7C&7C8674ECAB8BB840C6AD35DC6213A474B5
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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by Taylor & Francis Journals in its journal Applied Economics Letters.

Volume (Year): 6 (1999)
Issue (Month): 11 ()
Pages: 753-757

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Handle: RePEc:taf:apeclt:v:6:y:1999:i:11:p:753-757

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Cited by:
  1. Worrall, John L. & Schram, Pamela & Hays, Eric & Newman, Matthew, 2004. "An analysis of the relationship between probation caseloads and property crime rates in California counties," Journal of Criminal Justice, Elsevier, vol. 32(3), pages 231-241.
  2. Todd Cherry, 2001. "Financial penalties as an alternative criminal sanction: Evidence from panel data," Atlantic Economic Journal, International Atlantic Economic Society, vol. 29(4), pages 450-458, December.
  3. 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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