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Property Crime and Law Enforcement in Italy. A Regional Panel Analysis 1980-95

  • Guido Travaglini

    ()

    (Università "La Sapienza", Rome)

In this paper a Cobb-Douglas utility function is introduced and solved for a dynamic equation of property crime supply and its determinants, namely deterrents and income. Thereafter, all variables are empirically tested by means of a simultaneous equations model, for the sign and magnitude of their mutual relationships in a panel of Italy and its two economically and culturally different areas, the North and the South. The period scrutinized is 1980-95 and the results obtained widely differ among the two. When appropriately modeled and instrumented, in fact, property crime is found to react to police and criminal justice deterrence, and also to incomes, with different parameter magnitudes and significance. The same diversity applies to the parameters related to deterrence, flawed in quite a few cases by scarce law enforcement and productivity, and to those related to local incomes, which still reflect for the South a tendency of crime to substitute for legal activities.

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Article provided by GDE (Giornale degli Economisti e Annali di Economia), Bocconi University in its journal Giornale degli Economisti e Annali di Economia.

Volume (Year): 62 (2003)
Issue (Month): 2 (October)
Pages: 211-240

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Handle: RePEc:gde:journl:gde_v62_n2_p211-240
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