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Acquisitive Crime, Sentencing and Detection: An Analysis of England and Wales

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  • Siddhartha Bandyopadhyay
  • Samrat Bhattacharya
  • Marianna Koli
  • Rudra Sensarma

Abstract

We provide the first detailed econometric analysis of the impact of sentencing on various types of acquisitive crime (theft, burglary, fraud and robbery) in England and Wales. We examine (a) whether sentencing reduces crime and (b) whether short sentences are more effective than long sentences. Detection is another important explanatory variable whose potential endogeneity is addressed by instrumenting using lagged values of police expenditure and detection. Our results show that detection is significant and negatively affects all crime types while the impact of sentences is negative and significant for burglary and fraud in a linear specification. A quadratic specification for sentencing shows that the linear term is positive while the square term is negative for robbery suggesting short sentences may be counterproductive in reducing robbery. We also control for a number of socio-economic variables whose effects significantly affect crime.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Department of Economics, University of Birmingham in its series Discussion Papers with number 12-09.

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Length: 24 pages
Date of creation: Aug 2012
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:bir:birmec:12-09

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

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  1. Eric D. Gould & Bruce A. Weinberg & David B. Mustard, 2002. "Crime Rates And Local Labor Market Opportunities In The United States: 1979-1997," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 84(1), pages 45-61, February.
  2. Siddhartha Bandyopadhyay & Samrat Bhattacharya & Rudra Sensarma, 2011. "An Analysis of the Factors Determining Crime in England and Wales: A Quantile Regression Approach," Discussion Papers 11-12, Department of Economics, University of Birmingham.
  3. Steve Machin & Costas Meghir, 2000. "Crime and economic incentives," IFS Working Papers W00/17, Institute for Fiscal Studies.
  4. Robert Witt & Alan Clarke & Nigel Fielding, 1998. "Crime, earnings inequality and unemployment in England and Wales," Applied Economics Letters, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 5(4), pages 265-267.
  5. Ehrlich, Isaac, 1973. "Participation in Illegitimate Activities: A Theoretical and Empirical Investigation," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 81(3), pages 521-65, May-June.
  6. Aniruddha Bagchi & Siddharth Bandyopadhyay, 2011. "Workplace Deviance and the Business Cycle," Discussion Papers 11-06, Department of Economics, University of Birmingham.
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