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Crime, Deterrence and Unemployment in England and Wales: An Empirical Analysis

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  • Reilly, Barry
  • Witt, Robert

Abstract

This paper uses aggregate data from 42 police-force areas over 12 years to test predictions of Becker's economic model of crime. The effects of measures for deterrence on the incidence of three types of acquisitive criminal activity (burglary, theft, robbery) in England and Wales are explored. Mixed support for the Becker model emerges. The growth in unemployment is seen to impact positively on two of the three types of criminal activity examined. Per capita household income is seen to have a negative effect on the recorded rates of burglary and theft, but there is some evidence that the income variable is a proxy for the effects of unemployment. Poor housing conditions and the relative youth of the population were found to play a role in the determination of criminal activity. Copyright 1996 by Blackwell Publishing Ltd and the Board of Trustees of the Bulletin of Economic Research

Suggested Citation

  • Reilly, Barry & Witt, Robert, 1996. "Crime, Deterrence and Unemployment in England and Wales: An Empirical Analysis," Bulletin of Economic Research, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 48(2), pages 137-159, April.
  • Handle: RePEc:bla:buecrs:v:48:y:1996:i:2:p:137-59
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    Cited by:

    1. Leo H. Kahane & David Paton & Rob Simmons, 2008. "The Abortion-Crime Link: Evidence from England and Wales," Economica, London School of Economics and Political Science, vol. 75(297), pages 1-21, February.
    2. Deller, Steven & Deller, Melissa, 2005. "Shifting Patterns in Wisconsin Crime Rates," Staff Paper Series 491, University of Wisconsin, Agricultural and Applied Economics.
    3. Foreman-Peck, James & Moore, Simon C., 2010. "Gratuitous violence and the rational offender model," International Review of Law and Economics, Elsevier, vol. 30(2), pages 160-172, June.
    4. Mirko Draca & Stephen Machin, 2015. "Crime and Economic Incentives," Annual Review of Economics, Annual Reviews, vol. 7(1), pages 389-408, August.
    5. Beraldo, Sergio & Caruso, Raul & Turati, Gilberto, 2013. "Life is now! Time preferences and crime: Aggregate evidence from the Italian regions," Journal of Behavioral and Experimental Economics (formerly The Journal of Socio-Economics), Elsevier, vol. 47(C), pages 73-81.
    6. Carmichael, Fiona & Ward, Robert, 2001. "Male unemployment and crime in England and Wales," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 73(1), pages 111-115, October.
    7. Galloway, Taryn A. & Pudney, Stephen, 2011. "Initiation into crime: an analysis of Norwegian register data on five birth cohorts," ISER Working Paper Series 2011-11, Institute for Social and Economic Research.
    8. Braakmann, Nils, 2012. "The link between non-property crime and house prices – Evidence from UK street-level data," MPRA Paper 44884, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    9. Vujić Sunčica & Koopman Siem Jan & Commandeur J.F., 2012. "Economic Trends and Cycles in Crime: A Study for England and Wales," Journal of Economics and Statistics (Jahrbuecher fuer Nationaloekonomie und Statistik), De Gruyter, vol. 232(6), pages 652-677, December.
    10. M. Zakir Saadullah Khan, 2012. "Examining Friedman Hypothesis On Political,Civil And Economic Freedom For Saarc Countries: A Dynamic Panel Data Analysis," Journal of Economic Development, Chung-Ang Unviersity, Department of Economics, vol. 37(3), pages 107-127, September.
    11. Caruso, Raul, 2011. "Crime and sport participation: Evidence from Italian regions over the period 1997–2003," Journal of Behavioral and Experimental Economics (formerly The Journal of Socio-Economics), Elsevier, vol. 40(5), pages 455-463.
    12. Paresh Kumar Narayan & Russell Smyth, 2004. "Crime rates, male youth unemployment and real income in Australia: evidence from Granger causality tests," Applied Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 36(18), pages 2079-2095.
    13. Ehud Guttel & Barak Medina, 2007. "Less Crime, More (Vulnerable) Victims: Game Theory and the Distributional Effects of Criminal Sanctions," Discussion Paper Series dp472, The Federmann Center for the Study of Rationality, the Hebrew University, Jerusalem.
    14. Dongxu Wu & Zhongmin Wu, 2012. "Crime, inequality and unemployment in England and Wales," Applied Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 44(29), pages 3765-3775, October.
    15. Reilly, Barry & Witt, Robert, 2008. "Domestic burglaries and the real price of audio-visual goods: Some time series evidence for Britain," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 100(1), pages 96-100, July.
    16. Sergio Beraldo & Raul Caruso & Gilberto Turati, 2012. "Life is Now! Time Discounting and Crime: Aggregate Evidence from the Italian Regions (2002-2007)," Working papers 013, Department of Economics and Statistics (Dipartimento di Scienze Economico-Sociali e Matematico-Statistiche), University of Torino.
    17. Ehud Guttel & Barak Medina, 2007. "Less Crime, More (Vulnerable) Victims: Game Theory and the Distributional Effects of Criminal Sanctions," Levine's Bibliography 122247000000001799, UCLA Department of Economics.

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