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Estimating the Economic Model of Crime With Individual Data

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  • Ann Dryden Witte

Abstract

The paper develops a variant of the economic model of crime. The model developed is estimated using information on the post-release activities of a sample of men released from the North Carolina prison system. Both the expected certainty and severity of punishment are found to deter criminal activity in a number of instances and a 1 percent increase in certainty is generally found to have a greater effect than a similar increase in severity. Certainty of punishment is found to have a greater effect for relatively minor offenders and severity for persons offenders. While higher legal wages are found to deter, their effect is quite weak.

Suggested Citation

  • 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.
  • Handle: RePEc:oup:qjecon:v:94:y:1980:i:1:p:57-84.
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    File URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10.2307/1884604
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