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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.
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  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
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  7. 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.
  8. Paolo Buonanno & Leone Leonida, 2005. "Education and crime: evidence from Italian regions," Working Papers (-2012) 0503, University of Bergamo, Department of Economics.
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  12. Horst Entorf & Peter Winker, 2001. "The Economics of Crime: Investigating the Drugs-Crime Channel," Law and Economics 0108001, EconWPA.
  13. Richard Blundell & Steve Bond, 1995. "Initial conditions and moment restrictions in dynamic panel data models," IFS Working Papers W95/17, Institute for Fiscal Studies.
  14. Case, A.C. & Katz, L.F., 1991. "The Company You Keep: The Effects Of Family And Neighborhood On Disadvantaged Younths," Harvard Institute of Economic Research Working Papers 1555, Harvard - Institute of Economic Research.
  15. 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.
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  17. Witte, Ann D & Tauchen, Helen, 1994. "Work and Crime: An Exploration Using Panel Data," Public Finance = Finances publiques, , vol. 49(Supplemen), pages 155-67.
  18. repec:tpr:qjecon:v:110:y:1995:i:1:p:51-71 is not listed on IDEAS
  19. Grogger, Jeff, 1998. "Market Wages and Youth Crime," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 16(4), pages 756-91, October.
  20. 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.
  21. Dan Usher, 1997. "Education as a Deterrent to Crime," Canadian Journal of Economics, Canadian Economics Association, vol. 30(2), pages 367-84, May.
  22. Edward L. Glaeser & Bruce Sacerdote, 1996. "Why Is There More Crime in Cities?," NBER Working Papers 5430, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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  25. Richard B. Freeman, 1991. "Crime and the Employment of Disadvantaged Youths," NBER Working Papers 3875, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  26. 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.
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