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Life is now! Time Preferences and Crime: Aggregate Evidence from the Italian Regions

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  • Beraldo, Sergio
  • Caruso, Raul
  • Turati, Gilberto

Abstract

This paper tests the relationship between time preferences and crime rates as posited by Davis (1988), whose theoretical analysis suggests that individuals’ attitude towards the future significantly affects their propensity to commit crime. Our empirical analysis is based on a panel of Italian regions from 2003 to 2007. Various proxies for time preferences are considered: the consumer credit share out of the total amount of loans to households, the share of obese individuals out of the total population, the rate of marriages out of the total population, and the teenage pregnancy rate. Controlling for a great number of factors suggested by the scientific literature on the determinants of crime, adding to the model also time and regional fixed effects, and clustering standard errors to account for both serial and panel correlations, our results basically provide support to the ‘Davis’ hypothesis’ for property crimes, while for violent crimes there seems to be less evidence that these are higher where people discount the future more heavily. Moreover, there is no evidence of a reverse effect from crime to time preferences at this aggregate level.

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Paper provided by University Library of Munich, Germany in its series MPRA Paper with number 49865.

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Date of creation: Jul 2013
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Handle: RePEc:pra:mprapa:49865

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Keywords: Time Preferences; Property Crime; Violent Crime; Italian Regions.;

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Cited by:
  1. Raul Caruso & Adelaide Baronchelli, 2013. "Economic aspects of the complementarity between corruption and crime: evidence from Italy in the period 1996-2005," International Journal of Monetary Economics and Finance, Inderscience Enterprises Ltd, vol. 6(2/3), pages 244-260.
  2. Caruso, Raul, 2014. "What is the relationship between unemployment and rape? Evidence from a panel of European regions," MPRA Paper 54725, University Library of Munich, Germany.

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