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Identifying the Socioeconomic Determinants of Crime in Spanish Provinces

  • Paolo Buonanno
  • Daniel Montolio Estivill

    (Universitat de Barcelona)

In this paper we study, having as theoretical reference the economic model of crime (Becker, 1968; Ehrlich, 1973), which are the socioeconomic and demographic determinants of crime in Spain paying attention on the role of provincial peculiarities. We estimate a crime equation using a panel dataset of Spanish provinces (NUTS3) for the period 1993 to 1999 employing the GMM-system estimator. Empirical results suggest that lagged crime rate and clear-up rate are correlated to all typologies of crime rate considered. Property crimes are better explained by socioeconomic variables (GDP per capita, GDP growth rate and percentage of population with high school and university degree), while demographic factors reveal important and significant influences, in particular for crimes against the person. These results are obtained using an instrumental variable approach that takes advantage of the dynamic properties of our dataset to control for both measurement errors in crime data and joint endogeneity of the explanatory variables.

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Paper provided by Universitat de Barcelona. Espai de Recerca en Economia in its series Working Papers in Economics with number 138.

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Length: 22 pages
Date of creation: 2005
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:bar:bedcje:2005138
Contact details of provider: Postal: Espai de Recerca en Economia, Facultat de Ciències Econòmiques. Tinent Coronel Valenzuela, Num 1-11 08034 Barcelona. Spain.
Web page: http://www.ere.ub.es

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  1. Richard B. Freeman, 1996. "Why Do So Many Young American Men Commit Crimes and What Might We Do about It?," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 10(1), pages 25-42, Winter.
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  3. Lance Lochner & Enrico Moretti, 2004. "The Effect of Education on Crime: Evidence from Prison Inmates, Arrests, and Self-Reports," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 94(1), pages 155-189, March.
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  7. Lance Lochner, 2004. "Education, Work, and Crime: A Human Capital Approach," NBER Working Papers 10478, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  8. Edward L. Glaeser & Bruce Sacerdote, 1996. "Why Is There More Crime in Cities?," NBER Working Papers 5430, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  9. Entorf, Horst & Winker, Peter, 2001. "The Economics of Crime: Investigating the Drugs-Crime Channel - Empirical Evidence from Panel Data of the German States," W.E.P. - Würzburg Economic Papers 29, University of Würzburg, Chair for Monetary Policy and International Economics.
  10. Steve Machin & Costas Meghir, 2000. "Crime and economic incentives," IFS Working Papers W00/17, Institute for Fiscal Studies.
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  13. Blundell, R. & Bond, S., 1995. "Initial Conditions and Moment Restrictions in Dynamic Panel Data Models," Economics Papers 104, Economics Group, Nuffield College, University of Oxford.
  14. 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.
  15. Ann Dryden Witte & Helen Tauchen, 1994. "Work and Crime: An Exploration Using Panel Data," NBER Working Papers 4794, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  16. Arellano, Manuel & Bond, Stephen, 1991. "Some Tests of Specification for Panel Data: Monte Carlo Evidence and an Application to Employment Equations," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 58(2), pages 277-97, April.
  17. Cherry, Todd L. & List, John A., 2002. "Aggregation bias in the economic model of crime," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 75(1), pages 81-86, March.
  18. Paolo Buonanno & Leone Leonida, 2005. "Education and crime: evidence from Italian regions," Working Papers (-2012) 0503, University of Bergamo, Department of Economics.
  19. Dan Usher, 1993. "Education as a Deterrent to Crime," Working Papers 870, Queen's University, Department of Economics.
  20. Entorf, Horst & Winker, Peter, 2002. "The Economics of Crime: Investigating the Drugs-Crime Channel," Darmstadt Discussion Papers in Economics 224, Darmstadt Technical University, Department of Business Administration, Economics and Law, Institute of Economics (VWL).
  21. Sah, R.K., 1990. "Social Osmosis And Patterns Of Crime: A Dynamic Economic Analysis," Papers 609, Yale - Economic Growth Center.
  22. Entorf, Horst & Spengler, Hannes, 1998. "Socio-economic and demographic factors of crime in Germany: evidence from panel data of the German states," ZEW Discussion Papers 98-16, ZEW - Zentrum für Europäische Wirtschaftsforschung / Center for European Economic Research.
  23. Gaviria, Alejandro, 2000. "Increasing returns and the evolution of violent crime: the case of Colombia," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 61(1), pages 1-25, February.
  24. Freeman, Richard B., 1999. "The economics of crime," Handbook of Labor Economics, in: O. Ashenfelter & D. Card (ed.), Handbook of Labor Economics, edition 1, volume 3, chapter 52, pages 3529-3571 Elsevier.
  25. Ehrlich, Isaac, 1973. "Participation in Illegitimate Activities: A Theoretical and Empirical Investigation," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 81(3), pages 521-65, May-June.
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