The Economic Epidemiology of Crime
Economic analysis of infectious diseases emphasizes the self-correcting character of epidemics, as rising risk of infection causes potential victims to take self-protective measures. We apply the analysis to crime, showing how rational potential victims of crime will take increased self-protective measures in response to rising crime rates, causing those rates to moderate. Victim responses to crime can offset public expenditures on crime control; this implies that there may be a "natural" rate of crime that is difficult for the public sector to affect. We show that victim responses to crime can impart a cyclical pattern to crime rates and discuss the implications of our analysis for gun control and present empirical evidence concerning the responsiveness of self-protective measures to crime rates and the cyclical pattern of those rates. Copyright 1996 by the University of Chicago.
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- Ben-Shahar, Omri & Harel, Alon, 1995. "Blaming the Victim: Optimal Incentives for Private Precautions against Crime," Journal of Law, Economics and Organization, Oxford University Press, vol. 11(2), pages 434-455, October.
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- Edward E. Glaeser & Bruce Sacerdote & Jose A. Scheinkman, 1995. "Crime and Social Interactions," Harvard Institute of Economic Research Working Papers 1738, Harvard - Institute of Economic Research.
- Philipson, Tomas & Posner, Richard A, 1994. "Public Spending on AIDS Education: An Economic Analysis," Journal of Law and Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 37(1), pages 17-38, April.
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