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An occupational choice model of crime switching

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  • Erkki Koskela
  • Matti Viren

Abstract

A quasi-linear, additively separable utility function is used to describe preferences between consumption and leisure and analyse occupational choice between one non-criminal and two criminal activities when individuals are heterogeneous in terms of their productivity. Occupational specialization takes place at the individual level according to their relative productivity in various activities. The aggregate amount of criminal activity features crime switching; the criminal activity depends negatively on its probability of detection, its penalty rate if caught and on the rate of return from alternative criminal activity and positively on the probability of detection and penalty rate of alternative criminal activity. Some empirical evidence from Finland about auto thefts and robberies lies in conformity with crime-switching hypothesis.

Suggested Citation

  • Erkki Koskela & Matti Viren, 1997. "An occupational choice model of crime switching," Applied Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 29(5), pages 655-660.
  • Handle: RePEc:taf:applec:v:29:y:1997:i:5:p:655-660
    DOI: 10.1080/000368497326859
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    Cited by:

    1. Detotto, Claudio & McCannon, Bryan C. & Vannini, Marco, 2015. "Evidence of marginal deterrence: Kidnapping and murder in Italy," International Review of Law and Economics, Elsevier, vol. 41(C), pages 63-67.
    2. Denis Fougère & Francis Kramarz & Julien Pouget, 2009. "Youth Unemployment and Crime in France," Journal of the European Economic Association, MIT Press, vol. 7(5), pages 909-938, September.
    3. C. Detotto & BC. McCannon & M. Vannini, 2013. "A Note on Marginal Deterrence: Evidence," Working Paper CRENoS 201310, Centre for North South Economic Research, University of Cagliari and Sassari, Sardinia.

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