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Crime, apprehension and clearance rates: Panel data evidence from Canadian provinces

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  • Philip A. Curry
  • Anindya Sen
  • George Orlov

Abstract

The Becker model of crime establishes the importance of the probability of apprehension as a key factor in a rational individual's decision to commit a crime. In this respect, most empirical studies based on US data have relied on variation in the number of police officers to estimate the impact of the probability of apprehension or capture. We measure the probability of apprehension by clearance rates and study their effects on crime rates, employing a panel of Canadian provinces from 1986 to 2005. OLS, GMM, GLS and IV estimates yield statistically significant elasticities of clearance rates, ranging from −0.2 to −0.4 for violent crimes and from −0.5 to −0.6 for property crimes. These findings reflect the importance of police force crime‐solving productivity. Crime, arrestation et taux d'incidents élucidés par la police: résultats à partir de données de panels pour les provinces canadiennes. Le modèle de crime de Becker établit l'importance de la probabilité d'arrestation en tant que facteur important dans la décision de commettre un crime d'un individu rationnel. La plupart des études empiriques basées sur des données américaines ont utilisé le nombre de policiers pour évaluer la probabilité d'arrestation. Les auteurs proposent d'utiliser le taux des crimes élucidés, et étudient leurs effets sur les taux de criminalité à l'aide de données pour un panel de provinces canadiennes de1986 à 2005. Des calibrations obtenues par diverses méthodes (moindres carrés ordinaires, moindres carrés généralisés, méthode des moments généralisés, IV) donnent des élasticités significatives des taux de crime par rapport aux taux d'élucidation: entre −0.2 et −0.4 pour les crimes violents, et entre −0.5 et −0.6 pour les crimes contre la propriété. Ces résultats montrent l'importance de la productivité des corps policiers dans l'élucidation des crimes.

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  • Philip A. Curry & Anindya Sen & George Orlov, 2016. "Crime, apprehension and clearance rates: Panel data evidence from Canadian provinces," Canadian Journal of Economics/Revue canadienne d'économique, John Wiley & Sons, vol. 49(2), pages 481-514, May.
  • Handle: RePEc:wly:canjec:v:49:y:2016:i:2:p:481-514
    DOI: 10.1111/caje.12204
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