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Individual protection against property crime: decomposing the effects of protection observability

Author

Listed:
  • Louis Hotte
  • Tanguy van Ypersele

Abstract

We re-examine the efficiency of observable and unobservable crime protection decisions with new results and insights. Observable protection is unambiguously associated with a negative externality. At the individual level, it reduces the crime effort, but its unit payoff remains unchanged. Conversely, unobservable protection reduces the unit payoff and has no effect on the crime effort exerted, though it deters crime globally. A decrease in the global crime payoff is detrimental to a victim if protection is observable, while it is beneficial when unobservable. While observable protection has a positive diversion effect, it has the opposite effect when unobservable.

Suggested Citation

  • Louis Hotte & Tanguy van Ypersele, 2008. "Individual protection against property crime: decomposing the effects of protection observability," Canadian Journal of Economics, Canadian Economics Association, vol. 41(2), pages 537-563, May.
  • Handle: RePEc:cje:issued:v:41:y:2008:i:2:p:537-563
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    Cited by:

    1. Marceau, Nicolas & Mongrain, Steeve, 2011. "Competition in law enforcement and capital allocation," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 69(1), pages 136-147, January.
    2. Baumann, Florian & Friehe, Tim, 2013. "Private protection against crime when property value is private information," International Review of Law and Economics, Elsevier, vol. 35(C), pages 73-79.
    3. Guillaume Cheikbossian & Nicolas Marceau, 2007. "Why Is Law Enforcement Decentralized?," Cahiers de recherche 0719, CIRPEE.
    4. Kangoh Lee & Santiago M. Pinto, 2009. "Crime In A Multi-Jurisdictional Model With Private And Public Prevention," Journal of Regional Science, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 49(5), pages 977-996.
    5. Baumann, Florian & Denter, Philipp & Friehe, Tim, 2013. "Hide or show? Endogenous observability of private precautions against crime when property value is private information," DICE Discussion Papers 115, University of Düsseldorf, Düsseldorf Institute for Competition Economics (DICE).
    6. Curry Philip A., 2017. "Malice Aforethought," Review of Law & Economics, De Gruyter, vol. 13(1), pages 1-18, March.
    7. repec:oup:amlawe:v:19:y:2017:i:2:p:464-485. is not listed on IDEAS
    8. Tim Friehe & Thomas J. Miceli, 2017. "On Punishment Severity and Crime Rates," American Law and Economics Review, Oxford University Press, vol. 19(2), pages 464-485.
    9. Philip A. Curry & Matthew Doyle, 2012. "Social Welfare and the Benefits to Crime," Working Papers 1205, University of Waterloo, Department of Economics, revised Jul 2012.
    10. Decreuse, Bruno & Mongrain, Steve & van Ypersele, Tanguy, 2015. "Property crime and private protection allocation within cities: theory and evidence," CEPR Discussion Papers 10707, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • D62 - Microeconomics - - Welfare Economics - - - Externalities
    • D82 - Microeconomics - - Information, Knowledge, and Uncertainty - - - Asymmetric and Private Information; Mechanism Design
    • K42 - Law and Economics - - Legal Procedure, the Legal System, and Illegal Behavior - - - Illegal Behavior and the Enforcement of Law

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