Eine panelökonometrische Überprüfung der ökonomischen Theorie der Kriminalität mit deutschen Bundesländerdaten
AbstractAccording to the economic theory of crime, a rise in expected punishment (the product of probability and severity of punishment) results in a reduction of crime due to deterrence. What appears to be a simple and straightforward hypotheses turns out to be a demanding task for empirical examination because "crime" is composed of many different offence categories and expected punishment is influenced by the actions and decisions of different institutions such as police, public prosecutor's office and the courts and, thus, varies with respect to clearance and conviction rate as well as decisions regarding type (fine, probation, imprisonment) and "quantity" (length of prison sentence and size of fine) of punishment. Moreover, it makes a difference whether offenders are subject to general or juvenile criminal law. Usually, empirical analyses of crime/deterrence take simultaneous account of only a fraction of the items detailed above. In order to overcome this shortcoming the author has established a unique database combining information from different sources of official judicial statistics covering the German states for the period 1977-2001. Building on this database a comprehensive system of criminal prosecution indicators is derived and subsequently related to the incidence of six major offence categories using panel-econometrics. Revealing many negative significant effects for clearance and conviction rates but mostly insignificant coefficients for indicators of type and "quantity" of punishment the estimation results suggest that deterrence is mainly exerted at the initial levels of the criminal prosecution process. Finally, the econometric estimates are used in order to assess cost reductions for crime victims from increases in the severity of criminal prosecution. Thus, intensifying criminal prosecution permanently by 10 percent would reduce victims' costs by at least € 250 million p.a.
Download InfoIf you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.
Bibliographic InfoPaper provided by DIW Berlin, German Institute for Economic Research in its series Discussion Papers of DIW Berlin with number 548.
Length: 68 p.
Date of creation: 2006
Date of revision:
Publication status: Published in: Jahrbücher für Nationalökonomie und Statistik 226 (2007), 6, S. 687-714
Empirical crime research; Economic theory of crime; Criminal prosecution; Deterrence; Applied econometrics; Panel data; Integration; IV-estimation; Nickel bias; Ratio bias; Cost-benefit-analysis;
Other versions of this item:
- Spengler, Hannes, 2005. "Eine panelökonometrische Überprüfung der ökonomischen Theorie der Kriminalität mit deutschen Bundesländerdaten," Darmstadt Discussion Papers in Economics 36801, Darmstadt Technical University, Department of Business Administration, Economics and Law, Institute of Economics (VWL).
- K42 - Law and Economics - - Legal Procedure, the Legal System, and Illegal Behavior - - - Illegal Behavior and the Enforcement of Law
- K14 - Law and Economics - - Basic Areas of Law - - - Criminal Law
- H73 - Public Economics - - State and Local Government; Intergovernmental Relations - - - Interjurisdictional Differentials and Their Effects
This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:
- NEP-ALL-2006-02-26 (All new papers)
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:
- Griliches, Zvi & Hausman, Jerry A., 1986.
"Errors in variables in panel data,"
Journal of Econometrics,
Elsevier, vol. 31(1), pages 93-118, February.
- Entorf, Horst, 1997. "Random walks with drifts: Nonsense regression and spurious fixed-effect estimation," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 80(2), pages 287-296, October.
- Block, M K & Heineke, J M, 1975. "A Labor Theoretic Analysis of the Criminal Choice," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 65(3), pages 314-25, June.
- Wolpin, Kenneth I, 1980. "A Time Series-Cross Section Analysis of International Variation in Crime and Punishment," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 62(3), pages 417-23, August.
- Douglas Staiger & James H. Stock, 1994.
"Instrumental Variables Regression with Weak Instruments,"
NBER Technical Working Papers
0151, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Douglas Staiger & James H. Stock, 1997. "Instrumental Variables Regression with Weak Instruments," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 65(3), pages 557-586, May.
- 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.
- Steven D. Levitt, 1995. "Using Electoral Cycles in Police Hiring to Estimate the Effect of Policeon Crime," NBER Working Papers 4991, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Levin, Andrew & Lin, Chien-Fu & James Chu, Chia-Shang, 2002.
"Unit root tests in panel data: asymptotic and finite-sample properties,"
Journal of Econometrics,
Elsevier, vol. 108(1), pages 1-24, May.
- Tom Doan, . "LEVINLIN: RATS procedure to perform Levin-Lin-Chu test for unit roots in panel data," Statistical Software Components RTS00242, Boston College Department of Economics.
- Steven D. Levitt, 1998.
"Juvenile Crime and Punishment,"
Journal of Political Economy,
University of Chicago Press, vol. 106(6), pages 1156-1185, December.
- Witte, Ann Dryden, 1980. "Estimating the Economic Model of Crime with Individual Data," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 94(1), pages 57-84, February.
- Ian Ayres & Steven D. Levitt, 1997.
"Measuring Positive Externalities from Unobservable Victim Precaution: An Empirical Analysis of Lojack,"
NBER Working Papers
5928, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Ian Ayres & Steven D. Levitt, 1998. "Measuring Positive Externalities From Unobservable Victim Precaution: An Empirical Analysis Of Lojack," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 113(1), pages 43-77, February.
- Jeffrey M Wooldridge, 2010.
"Econometric Analysis of Cross Section and Panel Data,"
MIT Press Books,
The MIT Press,
edition 2, volume 1, number 0262232588, January.
- Jeffrey M. Wooldridge, 2001. "Econometric Analysis of Cross Section and Panel Data," MIT Press Books, The MIT Press, edition 1, volume 1, number 0262232197, January.
- Maurice J.G. Bun & Jan F. Kiviet, 2002. "Efficiency profiles of MM estimators in dynamic panel data models," 10th International Conference on Panel Data, Berlin, July 5-6, 2002 C6-4, International Conferences on Panel Data.
- Cornwell, Christopher & Trumbull, William N, 1994. "Estimating the Economic Model of Crime with Panel Data," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 76(2), pages 360-66, May.
- 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.
- Gary S. Becker, 1974.
"Crime and Punishment: An Economic Approach,"
in: Essays in the Economics of Crime and Punishment, pages 1-54
National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Viscusi, W Kip, 1986. "The Risks and Rewards of Criminal Activity: A Comprehensive Test of Criminal Deterrence," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 4(3), pages 317-40, July.
- Hannes Spengler, 2006. "Eine panelökonometrische Evaluation des deutschen Strafverfolgungssystems," Journal of Economics and Statistics (Jahrbuecher fuer Nationaloekonomie und Statistik), Justus-Liebig University Giessen, Department of Statistics and Economics, vol. 226(6), pages 687-714, November.
- Horst Entorf & Hannes Spengler, 2008.
"Is Being 'Soft on Crime' the Solution to Rising Crime Rates?: Evidence from Germany,"
Discussion Papers of DIW Berlin
837, DIW Berlin, German Institute for Economic Research.
- Entorf, Horst & Spengler, Hannes, 2008. "Is Being 'Soft on Crime' the Solution to Rising Crime Rates? Evidence from Germany," IZA Discussion Papers 3710, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Bibliothek).
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.