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Life is now! Time preferences and crime: Aggregate evidence from the Italian regions

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  • Beraldo, Sergio
  • Caruso, Raul
  • Turati, Gilberto

Abstract

This paper tests the relationship between time preferences and crime rates as posited by Davis (1988), whose theoretical analysis suggests that individuals’ attitude towards the future significantly affects their propensity to commit crime. Our empirical analysis is based on a panel of Italian regions from 2003 to 2007. Various proxies for time preferences are considered: the consumer credit share out of the total amount of loans to households, the share of obese individuals out of the total population, the rate of marriages out of the total population, and the teenage pregnancy rate. Controlling for a great number of factors suggested by the scientific literature on the determinants of crime, adding to the model also time and regional fixed effects, and clustering standard errors to account for both serial and panel correlations, our results basically provide support to the ‘Davis’ hypothesis’ for property crimes, while for violent crimes there seems to be less evidence that these are higher where people discount the future more heavily. Moreover, there is no evidence of a reverse effect from crime to time preferences at this aggregate level.

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  • 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.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:soceco:v:47:y:2013:i:c:p:73-81
    DOI: 10.1016/j.socec.2013.09.002
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    4. Basiglio Stefania & Foresta Alessandra & Turati Gilberto, 2021. "Impatience and crime. Evidence from the NLSY97," Working papers 073, Department of Economics and Statistics (Dipartimento di Scienze Economico-Sociali e Matematico-Statistiche), University of Torino.
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    7. Sironi Emiliano & Bonazzi Leda Maria, 2016. "Direct Victimization Experiences and Fear of Crime: A Gender Perspective," Peace Economics, Peace Science, and Public Policy, De Gruyter, vol. 22(2), pages 159-172, April.

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Time preferences; Property crime; Violent crime; Italian regions;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • D99 - Microeconomics - - Micro-Based Behavioral Economics - - - Other
    • K42 - Law and Economics - - Legal Procedure, the Legal System, and Illegal Behavior - - - Illegal Behavior and the Enforcement of Law
    • Z13 - Other Special Topics - - Cultural Economics - - - Economic Sociology; Economic Anthropology; Language; Social and Economic Stratification

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