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An Analysis of the Factors Determining Crime in England and Wales: A Quantile Regression Approach

  • Siddhartha Bandyopadhyay
  • Samrat Bhattacharya
  • Rudra Sensarma

We examine how socio-economic and police enforcement variables affect property and violent crimes at different points of the crime distribution in England and Wales over the period 1992-2007. By using data from 43 police force areas, we examine how the effect of real earnings, unemployment, crime detection rate, income inequality and proportion of young people varies across high and low crime areas. Six crime categories are examined - burglarly, theft and handling, fraud and forgery, violence against the person, robbery, and sexual assault. Using a quantile regression model, we find that there are statistically significant differences in the impact of explanatory variables on various crime rates for low and high crime areas. For example, not only does unemployment increase crime but it does so more in high crime areas. Higher detection rates reduce crime rates and the effect is stronger in low crime areas. There are also differences in distributional impact on crime rates for real earnings, income inequality and proportion of young people. Thus, our work points to the need to look beyond the usual mean effects of policing and socio-economic factors on crime and consider their impact on the entire distribution of crime rates. This will enable us to tailor policies that are particularly effective at different points in the crime distribution. Further, given the differential impact of earnings and unemployment across high and low crime areas this provides insight into why paradoxically recessions may have no impact on crime or even lower it.

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File URL: ftp://ftp.bham.ac.uk/pub/RePEc/pdf/11-12.pdf
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Paper provided by Department of Economics, University of Birmingham in its series Discussion Papers with number 11-12.

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Length: 16 pages
Date of creation: Jun 2011
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:bir:birmec:11-12
Contact details of provider: Postal: Edgbaston, Birmingham, B15 2TT
Web page: http://www.economics.bham.ac.uk

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  1. Kenneth Burdett & Ricardo Lagos & Randall Wright, 2003. "An On-the-Job Search Model of Crime, Inequality, and Unemployment," PIER Working Paper Archive 03-030, Penn Institute for Economic Research, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania.
  2. Buchinsky, Moshe, 1994. "Changes in the U.S. Wage Structure 1963-1987: Application of Quantile Regression," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 62(2), pages 405-58, March.
  3. Kenneth Burdett & Ricardo Lagos & Randall Wright, 2002. "Crime, Inequality, and Unemployment, Second Version," PIER Working Paper Archive 03-029, Penn Institute for Economic Research, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania, revised 01 Sep 2003.
  4. Lott, John R, Jr & Mustard, David B, 1997. "Crime, Deterrence, and Right-to-Carry Concealed Handguns," The Journal of Legal Studies, University of Chicago Press, vol. 26(1), pages 1-68, January.
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  7. O'Donnell, Owen & Nicolás, Ángel López & Van Doorslaer, Eddy, 2009. "Growing richer and taller: Explaining change in the distribution of child nutritional status during Vietnam's economic boom," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 88(1), pages 45-58, January.
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  11. Fiona Carmichael & Robert Ward, 2000. "Youth unemployment and crime in the English regions and Wales," Applied Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 32(5), pages 559-571.
  12. Stephen Machin & Costas Meghir, 2004. "Crime and Economic Incentives," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 39(4).
  13. Ian Ayres & Steven D. Levitt, 1998. "Measuring Positive Externalities From Unobservable Victim Precaution: An Empirical Analysis Of Lojack," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 113(1), pages 43-77, February.
  14. Joanne M. Doyle & Ehsan Ahmed & Robert N. Horn, 1999. "The Effects of Labor Markets and Income Inequality on Crime: Evidence from Panel Data," Southern Economic Journal, Southern Economic Association, vol. 65(4), pages 717-738, April.
  15. Lu Han & Siddhartha Bandyopadhyay & Samrat Bhattacharya, 2011. "Determinants of Violent and Property crimes in England: A Panel Data Analysis," Discussion Papers 10-26r, Department of Economics, University of Birmingham.
  16. Chuang, Chia-Chang & Kuan, Chung-Ming & Lin, Hsin-Yi, 2009. "Causality in quantiles and dynamic stock return-volume relations," Journal of Banking & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 33(7), pages 1351-1360, July.
  17. Robert Witt & Alan Clarke & Nigel Fielding, 1998. "Crime, earnings inequality and unemployment in England and Wales," Applied Economics Letters, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 5(4), pages 265-267.
  18. Eric D. Gould & Bruce A. Weinberg & David B. Mustard, 2002. "Crime Rates And Local Labor Market Opportunities In The United States: 1979-1997," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 84(1), pages 45-61, February.
  19. Peter Fallesen & Lars Pico Geerdsen & Susumu Imai & Torben Tranaes, 2010. "The Effect of Workfare Policy on Crime," Working Papers 1236, Queen's University, Department of Economics.
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