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Crime Reporting: Profiling and Neighbourhood Observation

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  • Siddhartha Bandyopadhyay
  • Kalyan Chatterjee

Abstract

We consider the effect of giving incentives to ordinary citizens to report potential criminal activity. Additionally we look at the effect of "profiling" certain groups. In the first model, we focus on two kinds of profiling. If profiling means that police single out the profiled group for more investigation, then crime in the profiled group decreases. If profiling manifests itself through biased reporting by citizens, crime in the profiled group actually increases. In the second model, we consider a neighbourhood structure where individuals get information on possible criminal activity by neighbours on one side and decide whether to report or not based on the signal. When costs of reporting are low relative to the cost of being investigated, costs of investigation are increasing in the number of reports and there is at least one biased individual, we show there is "contagion equilibrium" where everyone reports his or her neighbour.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Department of Economics, University of Birmingham in its series Discussion Papers with number 08-07.

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Length: 19 pages
Date of creation: Oct 2008
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:bir:birmec:08-07

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Postal: Edgbaston, Birmingham, B15 2TT
Web page: http://www.economics.bham.ac.uk
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Keywords: Neighbourhood; crime reporting and profiling;

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  1. Verdier, Thierry & Zenou, Yves, 2003. "Racial Beliefs, Location and the Causes of Crime," Working Paper Series 602, Research Institute of Industrial Economics.
  2. Fender, John, 1999. "A general equilibrium model of crime and punishment," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 39(4), pages 437-453, July.
  3. Reinganum, Jennifer F & Wilde, Louis L, 1986. "Equilibrium Verification and Reporting Policies in a Model of Tax Compliance," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 27(3), pages 739-60, October.
  4. Edward E. Glaeser & Bruce Sacerdote & Jose A. Scheinkman, 1995. "Crime and Social Interactions," Harvard Institute of Economic Research Working Papers 1738, Harvard - Institute of Economic Research.
  5. Sah, Raaj K, 1991. "Social Osmosis and Patterns of Crime," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 99(6), pages 1272-95, December.
  6. Kenneth Burdett & Ricardo Lagos & Randall Wright, 2003. "Crime, Inequality, and Unemployment," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 93(5), pages 1764-1777, December.
  7. Conley, John P. & Wang, Ping, 2006. "Crime and ethics," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 60(1), pages 107-123, July.
  8. Goldberg, Itzhak & Nold, Frederick C, 1980. "Does Reporting Deter Burglars?-An Empirical Analysis of Risk and Return in Crime," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 62(3), pages 424-31, August.
  9. Siddhartha Bandyopadhyay & Kalyan Chatterjee, 2006. "Crime as a local public bad, neighbourhood observation and reporting," Discussion Papers 06-04, Department of Economics, University of Birmingham.
  10. Nuno Garoupa, 2001. "Optimal law enforcement when victims are rational players," Economics of Governance, Springer, vol. 2(3), pages 231-242, November.
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