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Drug-related crime


  • Bryan, Mark L.
  • Del Bono, Emilia
  • Pudney, Stephen


We provide a critical discussion of the concept drug-related crime and review methods for estimating its volume, emphasising the importance of an appropriately defined counterfactual. We then construct new estimates for England and Wales in 2003-6, combining data from the Arrestee Survey and Offending Crime and Justice Survey to ensure adequate coverage of prolific offenders/drug users and non- household residents, who are under-represented in household surveys. We find, first, that the volume of drug-induced acquisitive crime linked to heroin use is high, but there is no significant evidence of violent crime linked directly to heroin use. Second, we find no evidence at all of any drug-induced crime committed by people who use cannabis (but not heroin or cocaine). Third, we find evidence that supplying cannabis leads to a small volume of crime. The mechanisms linking cannabis supply to criminal activity merit further investigation.

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  • Bryan, Mark L. & Del Bono, Emilia & Pudney, Stephen, 2013. "Drug-related crime," ISER Working Paper Series 2013-08, Institute for Social and Economic Research.
  • Handle: RePEc:ese:iserwp:2013-08

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    1. Ariaster B. Chimeli & Rodrigo R. Soares, 2017. "The Use of Violence in Illegal Markets: Evidence from Mahogany Trade in the Brazilian Amazon," American Economic Journal: Applied Economics, American Economic Association, vol. 9(4), pages 30-57, October.
    2. Miron, Jeffrey A, 1999. "Violence and the U.S. Prohibitions of Drug and Alcohol," American Law and Economics Review, Oxford University Press, vol. 1(1-2), pages 78-114, Fall.
    3. van Ours, Jan C. & Williams, Jenny, 2007. "Cannabis prices and dynamics of cannabis use," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 26(3), pages 578-596, May.
    4. Kenneth W. Clements & Xueyan Zhao, 2005. "Economic Aspects of Marijuana," Economics Discussion / Working Papers 05-28, The University of Western Australia, Department of Economics.
    5. Stephen Pudney, 2003. "The Road to Ruin? Sequences of Initiation to Drugs and Crime in Britain," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 113(486), pages 182-198, March.
    6. Callum, Christine & Boyle, Seán & Sandford, Amanda, 2011. "Estimating the cost of smoking to the NHS in England and the impact of declining prevalence," Health Economics, Policy and Law, Cambridge University Press, vol. 6(04), pages 489-508, September.
    7. Alberto Abadie & Guido W. Imbens, 2006. "Large Sample Properties of Matching Estimators for Average Treatment Effects," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 74(1), pages 235-267, January.
    8. Brand, Sam & Price, Richard, 2000. "The economic and social costs of crime," MPRA Paper 74968, University Library of Munich, Germany.
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