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Crime, Deterrence, and Democracy

  • Libor Dušek

We provide new evidence on the effect of deterrence on crime using the experience of a transition country (the Czech Republic) as a quasi-natural experiment. The arrival of democracy in 1989 was accompanied by sharp reductions in all measures of deterrence and sharp increases in crime rates. We test whether deterrence, rather than other factors, was responsible for the post-1989 growth in crime on a panel dataset of Czech regions. The results show significant deterrence effects for robberies and thefts that are quantitatively similar to those found in previous literature, but insignificant deterrence effects for murders and rapes.

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Article provided by Verein für Socialpolitik in its journal German Economic Review.

Volume (Year): 13 (2012)
Issue (Month): 4 (November)
Pages: 447-469

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Handle: RePEc:bla:germec:v:13:y:2012:i:4:p:447-469
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  1. Sah, R.K., 1990. "Social Osmosis And Patterns Of Crime: A Dynamic Economic Analysis," Papers 609, Yale - Economic Growth Center.
  2. Cornwell, Christopher & Trumbull, William N, 1994. "Estimating the Economic Model of Crime with Panel Data," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 76(2), pages 360-66, May.
  3. Gary S. Becker, 1968. "Crime and Punishment: An Economic Approach," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 76, pages 169.
  4. Gabor Kezdi, 2005. "Robus Standard Error Estimation in Fixed-Effects Panel Models," Econometrics 0508018, EconWPA.
  5. Steven D. Levitt, 1998. "Juvenile Crime and Punishment," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 106(6), pages 1156-1185, December.
  6. Ehrlich, Isaac, 1975. "The Deterrent Effect of Capital Punishment: A Question of Life and Death," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 65(3), pages 397-417, June.
  7. 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.
  8. Ann Dryden Witte, 1980. "Estimating the Economic Model of Crime With Individual Data," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 94(1), pages 57-84.
  9. Block, Michael K & Gerety, Vernon E, 1995. "Some Experimental Evidence on Differences between Student and Prisoner Reactions to Monetary Penalties and Risk," The Journal of Legal Studies, University of Chicago Press, vol. 24(1), pages 123-38, January.
  10. Lin, Ming-Jen, 2007. "Does democracy increase crime? The evidence from international data," Journal of Comparative Economics, Elsevier, vol. 35(3), pages 467-483, September.
  11. Eric D. Gould & Bruce A. Weinberg & David B. Mustard, 2002. "Crime Rates And Local Labor Market Opportunities In The United States: 1979-1997," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 84(1), pages 45-61, February.
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