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Acquisitive Crime, Sentencing and Detection: An Analysis of England and Wales

Author

Listed:
  • Siddhartha Bandyopadhyay
  • Samrat Bhattacharya
  • Marianna Koli
  • Rudra Sensarma

Abstract

We provide the first detailed econometric analysis of the impact of sentencing on various types of acquisitive crime (theft, burglary, fraud and robbery) in England and Wales. We examine (a) whether sentencing reduces crime and (b) whether short sentences are more effective than long sentences. Detection is another important explanatory variable whose potential endogeneity is addressed by instrumenting using lagged values of police expenditure and detection. Our results show that detection is significant and negatively affects all crime types while the impact of sentences is negative and significant for burglary and fraud in a linear specification. A quadratic specification for sentencing shows that the linear term is positive while the square term is negative for robbery suggesting short sentences may be counterproductive in reducing robbery. We also control for a number of socio-economic variables whose effects significantly affect crime.

Suggested Citation

  • Siddhartha Bandyopadhyay & Samrat Bhattacharya & Marianna Koli & Rudra Sensarma, 2012. "Acquisitive Crime, Sentencing and Detection: An Analysis of England and Wales," Discussion Papers 12-09, Department of Economics, University of Birmingham.
  • Handle: RePEc:bir:birmec:12-09
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    File URL: ftp://ftp.bham.ac.uk/pub/RePEc/pdf/12-09.pdf
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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Siddhartha Bandyopadhyay & Samrat Bhattacharya & Rudra Sensarma, 2015. "An analysis of the factors determining crime in England and Wales: A quantile regression approach," Economics Bulletin, AccessEcon, vol. 35(1), pages 665-679.
    2. Mirko Draca & Stephen Machin, 2015. "Crime and Economic Incentives," Annual Review of Economics, Annual Reviews, vol. 7(1), pages 389-408, August.
    3. 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.
    4. Carmichael, Fiona & Ward, Robert, 2001. "Male unemployment and crime in England and Wales," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 73(1), pages 111-115, October.
    5. 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.
    6. Ehrlich, Isaac, 1973. "Participation in Illegitimate Activities: A Theoretical and Empirical Investigation," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 81(3), pages 521-565, May-June.
    7. Aniruddha Bagchi & Siddharth Bandyopadhyay, 2011. "Workplace Deviance and the Business Cycle," Discussion Papers 11-06, Department of Economics, University of Birmingham.
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    More about this item

    Keywords

    crime; sentencing;

    JEL classification:

    • K42 - Law and Economics - - Legal Procedure, the Legal System, and Illegal Behavior - - - Illegal Behavior and the Enforcement of Law
    • C23 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Single Equation Models; Single Variables - - - Models with Panel Data; Spatio-temporal Models

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