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Does Public Spending on Youths Affect Crime Rates?

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  • Lindvall, Lars

    ()
    (Department of Economics)

Abstract

Two important determinants of crime rates in economic theories of crime are deterrent effects and legal income opportunities. For at least two reasons, youth crimes do not fit into this picture since: 1) most youths do not work 2) deterrent effects, in terms of punishment, are non existent or reduced for youths. Understanding the processes behind youth crimes is important for the reduction of crime both in the short and the long run. This paper explores the role of public spending on youths and crime rates. Using a panel of 261 Swedish municipalities the effects on four crime rates of leisure related municipality expenditure and municipality expenditure on upper secondary school are explored using non-linear fixed effect models. The main findings of the paper are: 1) there exists statistically significant effects of the two types of spending on crime rates 2) there is a trade off between fighting different crimes, i.e. spending that reduces one type of crime might increase another type 3) the effects differ, both in direction and magnitude, between different types of municipalities, e.g. rural vs. urban 4) the effects are not constant, but rather increasing/decreasing in spending level.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Uppsala University, Department of Economics in its series Working Paper Series with number 2004:3.

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Length: 40 pages
Date of creation: 15 Nov 2003
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:hhs:uunewp:2004_003

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Postal: Department of Economics, Uppsala University, P. O. Box 513, SE-751 20 Uppsala, Sweden
Phone: + 46 18 471 25 00
Fax: + 46 18 471 14 78
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Web page: http://www.nek.uu.se/
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Keywords: Youth crime; public sepnding; leisure; school;

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References

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  1. Steven D. Levitt, 1998. "Juvenile Crime and Punishment," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 106(6), pages 1156-1185, December.
  2. Gary S. Becker, 1974. "Crime and Punishment: An Economic Approach," NBER Chapters, in: Essays in the Economics of Crime and Punishment, pages 1-54 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  3. 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.
  4. Ambrose Leung, 2002. "Delinquency, Social Institutions, and Capital Accumulation," Journal of Institutional and Theoretical Economics (JITE), Mohr Siebeck, Tübingen, vol. 158(3), pages 420-, September.
  5. Hahn, Jinyong, 1997. "A Note on the Efficient Semiparametric Estimation of Some Exponential Panel Models," Econometric Theory, Cambridge University Press, vol. 13(04), pages 583-588, August.
  6. Entorf, Horst & Spengler, Hannes, 2000. "Criminality, social cohesion and economic performance," W.E.P. - Würzburg Economic Papers 22, University of Würzburg, Chair for Monetary Policy and International Economics.
  7. Wooldridge, Jeffrey M., 1991. "Specification testing and quasi-maximum- likelihood estimation," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 48(1-2), pages 29-55.
  8. Gourieroux, Christian & Monfort, Alain & Trognon, Alain, 1984. "Pseudo Maximum Likelihood Methods: Theory," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 52(3), pages 681-700, May.
  9. Ziggy MacDonald, 2000. "The impact of under-reporting on the relationship between unemployment and property crime," Applied Economics Letters, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 7(10), pages 659-663.
  10. Entorf, Horst & Spengler, Hannes, 2000. "Development and validation of scientific indicators of the relationship between criminality, social cohesion and economic performance," ZEW Dokumentationen 00-05, ZEW - Zentrum für Europäische Wirtschaftsforschung / Center for European Economic Research.
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Cited by:
  1. Sören Blomquist & Vidar Christiansen, 2004. "Taxation and Heterogeneous Preferences," CESifo Working Paper Series 1244, CESifo Group Munich.
  2. Aronsson, Thomas & Blomquist, Sören, 2004. "Redistribution and Provision of Public Goods in an Economic Federation," UmeÃ¥ Economic Studies 636, Umeå University, Department of Economics.
  3. Österholm, Pär, 2004. "Estimating the Relationship between Age Structure and GDP in the OECD Using Panel Cointegration Methods," Working Paper Series 2004:13, Uppsala University, Department of Economics.

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