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Income Distribution, Police Expenditures, and Crime: A Political Economy Perspective


  • Antonio Merlo

    (University of Pennsylvania and CEPR,)


In this paper, I present a structural approach to investigate empirically the relation between income distribution, police expenditures and crime. The approach is based on the estimation of an equilibrium model where heterogeneous individuals choose whether to engage in criminal activities and expenditures on police to apprehend criminals are determined endogenously through majority voting. I discuss the identification and estimation of the parameters of the structural model using data for the United States. (JEL: D72, D78, K42) Copyright (c) 2003 The European Economic Association.

Suggested Citation

  • Antonio Merlo, 2003. "Income Distribution, Police Expenditures, and Crime: A Political Economy Perspective," Journal of the European Economic Association, MIT Press, vol. 1(2-3), pages 450-458, 04/05.
  • Handle: RePEc:tpr:jeurec:v:1:y:2003:i:2-3:p:450-458

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. repec:idb:brikps:42218 is not listed on IDEAS
    2. David N. Weil, 2005. "Accounting for the Effect of Health on Economic Growth," NBER Working Papers 11455, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    3. Robert E. Hall & Charles I. Jones, 1999. "Why do Some Countries Produce So Much More Output Per Worker than Others?," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 114(1), pages 83-116.
    4. Levin, Henry M, 1986. "A Benefit-Cost Analysis of Nutritional Programs for Anemia Reduction," World Bank Research Observer, World Bank Group, vol. 1(2), pages 219-245, July.
    5. Felicia Marie Knaul & Edmundo Murrugarra & Carlos Hernández Alvarez & Rafael Cortez & William D. Savedoff & Jaime Espinosa Ferrando & Rocío Ribero Medina & Martín Valdivia & T. Paul Schultz & Jairo Nú, 2000. "Wealth from Health: Linking Social Investments to Earnings in Latin America," IDB Publications (Books), Inter-American Development Bank, number 42218 edited by William D. Savedoff & T. Paul Schultz, February.
    6. repec:idb:idbbks:321 is not listed on IDEAS
    7. Peter Klenow & Andrés Rodríguez-Clare, 1997. "The Neoclassical Revival in Growth Economics: Has It Gone Too Far?," NBER Chapters,in: NBER Macroeconomics Annual 1997, Volume 12, pages 73-114 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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    Cited by:

    1. Ma. Guillamón & Francisco Bastida & Bernardino Benito, 2013. "The electoral budget cycle on municipal police expenditure," European Journal of Law and Economics, Springer, vol. 36(3), pages 447-469, December.

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • D72 - Microeconomics - - Analysis of Collective Decision-Making - - - Political Processes: Rent-seeking, Lobbying, Elections, Legislatures, and Voting Behavior
    • D78 - Microeconomics - - Analysis of Collective Decision-Making - - - Positive Analysis of Policy Formulation and Implementation
    • K42 - Law and Economics - - Legal Procedure, the Legal System, and Illegal Behavior - - - Illegal Behavior and the Enforcement of Law


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