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The Engine Immobilizer: a Non-Starter For Car Thieves

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  • Ours, J.C. van
  • Vollaard, B.A.

    (Tilburg University, Center for Economic Research)

Abstract

We provide evidence for a beneficial welfare impact of a crime policy that is targeted at strenghtening victim precaution. Regulation made application of the electronic engine immobilizer, a simple and low-cost anti-theft device, mandatory for all new cars sold within the European Union as of 1998. We exploit the regulation as source of exogenous variation in use of the device by year of manufacture of cars. Based on detailed data at the level of car models, we find that uniform application of the security device reduced the probability of car theft by an estimated 50 percent on average in the Netherlands during 1995-2008, accounting for both the protective effect on cars with the device and the displacement effect on cars without the device. The costs per prevented theft equal some 1,500 Euro; a fraction of the social benefits of a prevented car theft.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Tilburg University, Center for Economic Research in its series Discussion Paper with number 2013-004.

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Date of creation: 2013
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Handle: RePEc:dgr:kubcen:2013004

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Web page: http://center.uvt.nl

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Keywords: car theft; government regulation; crime; victim precaution;

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  1. Lacroix Guy & Narceau Nicolas, 1995. "Private Protection against Crime," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 37(1), pages 72-87, January.
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  4. Florian Baumann & Tim Friehe, 2012. "Private Protection against Crime when Property Value is Private Information," CESifo Working Paper Series 3888, CESifo Group Munich.
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  9. Leigh, Andrew & Neill, Christine, 2010. "Do Gun Buybacks Save Lives? Evidence from Panel Data," IZA Discussion Papers 4995, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
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