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

  • Wong, Yue-Chim Richard
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    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.

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    Article provided by London School of Economics and Political Science in its journal Economica.

    Volume (Year): 62 (1995)
    Issue (Month): 246 (May)
    Pages: 235-46

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    Handle: RePEc:bla:econom:v:62:y:1995:i:246:p:235-46
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