Crime as a local public bad, neighbourhood observation and reporting
We examine the effects of giving incentives for people to report crime on crime rates. In particular, we look at what happens when the costs of reporting are negligible and the cost of being interrogated by the police are high in a rational choice model of crime and crime reporting. Perverse equilibria where everyone reports or no one reports (and thus reports have no informational value) emerge. This happens both in a model where police make rational inferences about crime based on reports as well as in a model where police investigate according to fixed rules, operating under a fixed budget. Importantly, generating more reports about crime could actually increase equilibrium crime rates. This occurs via a resource thinning effect caused by "too many" reports. Hence, from a policy perspective increasing incentives for neighbours to report suspicious activities may prove to be counterproductive. We also show how different ways of profiling certain groups of people can either increase or decrease crime rates in the profiled group.
|Date of creation:||May 2006|
|Date of revision:|
|Contact details of provider:|| Postal: |
Web page: http://www.economics.bham.ac.uk
More information through EDIRC
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:
- A. Mitchell Polinsky & Steven Shavell, 1999.
"The Economic Theory of Public Enforcement of Law,"
NBER Working Papers
6993, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Gary S. Becker, 1968.
"Crime and Punishment: An Economic Approach,"
Journal of Political Economy,
University of Chicago Press, vol. 76, pages 169.
- Edward L. Glaeser & Bruce Sacerdote & Jose A. Scheinkman, 1995.
"Crime and Social Interactions,"
NBER Working Papers
5026, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- 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.
- Fender, John, 1999. "A general equilibrium model of crime and punishment," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 39(4), pages 437-453, July.
- Canice Prendergast, 2001. "Selection and Oversight in the Public Sector, With the Los Angeles Police Department as an Example," NBER Working Papers 8664, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:bir:birmec:06-04. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.
For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Colin Rowat)
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.