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An Economic Analysis of the Crime Rate in England and Wales, 1857-92

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  • Wong, Yue-Chim Richard

Abstract

This is an economic analysis of the determinants of the crime rate in England and Wales during 1857-92. In this period the overall crime rate first rose and subsequently fell. Various analysts have interpreted this to imply that criminal behavior in this period cannot be explained by economic incentives. Our study finds that the overall crime rate responded to incentives for pursuing legal and illegal activities. Growing economic prosperity and rising educational standards contributed to the overall decline in the crime rate during the second half of the nineteenth century. Cyclical economic fluctuations as proxied by the unemployment rate were also a significant determinant of the crime rate. Copyright 1995 by The London School of Economics and Political Science.

Suggested Citation

  • Wong, Yue-Chim Richard, 1995. "An Economic Analysis of the Crime Rate in England and Wales, 1857-92," Economica, London School of Economics and Political Science, vol. 62(246), pages 235-246, May.
  • Handle: RePEc:bla:econom:v:62:y:1995:i:246:p:235-46
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    Cited by:

    1. Zuzana Janko & Gurleen Popli, 2015. "Examining the link between crime and unemployment: a time-series analysis for Canada," Applied Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 47(37), pages 4007-4019, August.
    2. GholamReza Keshavarz Haddad & Hamed Markazi Moghadam, 2011. "The socioeconomic and demographic determinants of crime in Iran (a regional panel study)," European Journal of Law and Economics, Springer, vol. 32(1), pages 99-114, August.
    3. Nielsen, Ingrid & Smyth, Russell, 2008. "Who wants safer cities? Perceptions of public safety and attitudes to migrants among China's urban population," International Review of Law and Economics, Elsevier, vol. 28(1), pages 46-55, March.
    4. Guido Travaglini, 2003. "Property Crime and Law Enforcement in Italy. A Regional Panel Analysis 1980-95," Giornale degli Economisti, GDE (Giornale degli Economisti e Annali di Economia), Bocconi University, vol. 62(2), pages 211-240, October.
    5. Herschel I. Grossman & Minseong Kim, 1996. "Inequality, Predation and Welfare," NBER Working Papers 5704, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.

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