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Geographical Distribution of Crime in Italian Provinces: A Spatial Econometric Analysis

Author

Listed:
  • Teodora Erika Uberti

    (Università Cattolica del Sacro Cuore)

  • Maria Francesca Cracolici

    (Catholic University of Milano)

Abstract

For a long time social sciences scholars from different fields have devoted their attention to identifying the causes leading to commit criminal offences and recently lots of studies have included the analysis of spatial effects. Respect to the Italian crime phenomenon some stylized facts exist: high spatial and time variability and presence of “organised crime” (e.g. Mafia and Camorra) deep-seated in some local territorial areas. Using explanatory spatial data analysis, the paper firstly explores the spatial structure and distribution of four different typologies of crimes (murders, thefts, frauds, and squeezes) in Italian provinces in two years, 1999 and 2003. ESDA allows us to detect some important geographical dimensions and to distinguish crucial macro- and micro- territorial aspects of offences. Further, on the basis of Becker-Ehrlich model, a spatial cross-sectional model including deterrence, economic and socio-demographic variables has been performed to investigate the determinants of Italian crime for 1999 and 2003 and its “neighbouring” effects, measured in terms of geographical and relational proximity. The empirical results obtained by using different spatial weights matrices highlighted that socioeconomic variables have a relevant impact on crime activities, but their role changes enormously respect to crimes against person (murders) or against property (thefts, frauds and squeezes). It is worthy to notice that severity does not show the expected sign: its significant and positive sign should suggest that inflicting more severe punishments does not always constitute a deterrence to commit crime, but it works on the opposite direction.

Suggested Citation

  • Teodora Erika Uberti & Maria Francesca Cracolici, 2008. "Geographical Distribution of Crime in Italian Provinces: A Spatial Econometric Analysis," Working Papers 2008.11, Fondazione Eni Enrico Mattei.
  • Handle: RePEc:fem:femwpa:2008.11
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Luigi M. Solivetti, 2016. "Crime Patterns between Tradition and Change: A Territorial Analysis of the Italian Provinces," Social Indicators Research: An International and Interdisciplinary Journal for Quality-of-Life Measurement, Springer, vol. 128(2), pages 531-558, September.
    2. repec:spr:qualqt:v:52:y:2018:i:2:d:10.1007_s11135-017-0497-4 is not listed on IDEAS
    3. Rosetta Lombardo, 2016. "Is there also a North–South Divide in the Diffusion of Crime? A Cluster Analysis of Italian Provinces," Review of Development Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 20(2), pages 443-455, May.
    4. Becker, Sascha & Egger, Peter H & Seidel, Tobias, 2008. "Corruption Epidemics," Stirling Economics Discussion Papers 2008-09, University of Stirling, Division of Economics.
    5. McIntyre, Stuart G. & Lacombe, Donald J., 2012. "Personal Indebtedness, Spatial Effects and Crime," SIRE Discussion Papers 2012-83, Scottish Institute for Research in Economics (SIRE).
    6. Mario A. Maggioni & T. Erika Uberti & Francesca Gambarotto, 2009. "Mapping the Evolution of "Clusters": A Meta-analysis," Working Papers 2009.74, Fondazione Eni Enrico Mattei.
    7. Amedeo Argentiero & Bruno Chiarini & Elisabetta Marzano, 2018. "Does Tax Evasion Affect Economic Crime?," CESifo Working Paper Series 6957, CESifo Group Munich.
    8. McIntyre, Stuart G. & Lacombe, Donald J., 2012. "Personal indebtedness, spatial effects and crime," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 117(2), pages 455-459.
    9. Rosetta Lombardo & Marianna Falcone, 2011. "Crime And Economic Performance. A Cluster Analysis Of Panel Data On Italy'S Nuts 3 Regions," Working Papers 201112, Università della Calabria, Dipartimento di Economia, Statistica e Finanza "Giovanni Anania" - DESF.
    10. Amedeo Argentiero & Bruno Chiarini & Elisabetta Marzano, 2015. "Tax Evasion and Economic Crime. Empirical Evidence for Italy," CESifo Working Paper Series 5497, CESifo Group Munich.
    11. Germá-Bel & Maximilian Holst, 2016. "“A two-Sided coin: Disentangling the economic effects of the 'War on drugs' in Mexico”," IREA Working Papers 201611, University of Barcelona, Research Institute of Applied Economics, revised Apr 2016.
    12. Rullan Rinaldi & Eva Nurwita, 2010. "The Spatial Dimension of Human Development Index in Indonesia," Working Papers in Economics and Development Studies (WoPEDS) 201001, Department of Economics, Padjadjaran University, revised Jun 2010.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Crime; Spatial Econometrics;

    JEL classification:

    • C21 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Single Equation Models; Single Variables - - - Cross-Sectional Models; Spatial Models; Treatment Effect Models
    • K42 - Law and Economics - - Legal Procedure, the Legal System, and Illegal Behavior - - - Illegal Behavior and the Enforcement of Law

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