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What accounts for the decline in crime?

Author

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  • Ayse Imrohoroglu
  • Antonio Merlo
  • Peter Rupert

Abstract

The authors? dynamic equilibrium model guides their quantitative investigation of the major determinants of property-crime patterns in the U.S. The model is capable of reproducing the drop in property crime that occurred between 1980 and 1996. The most important influences on the decline are a higher probability of apprehension, a stronger economy, and the aging of the population. The effect of unemployment on crime is negligible. Increased inequality in earnings prevented an even larger decline in crime. The authors? analysis can account for the behavior of the time series of property crime rates over the past quarter-century.

Suggested Citation

  • Ayse Imrohoroglu & Antonio Merlo & Peter Rupert, 2000. "What accounts for the decline in crime?," Working Papers (Old Series) 0008, Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland.
  • Handle: RePEc:fip:fedcwp:0008
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Levitt, Steven D, 1997. "Using Electoral Cycles in Police Hiring to Estimate the Effect of Police on Crime," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 87(3), pages 270-290, June.
    2. Jeffrey Grogger, 1995. "The Effect of Arrests on the Employment and Earnings of Young Men," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 110(1), pages 51-71.
    3. Grogger, Jeff, 1998. "Market Wages and Youth Crime," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 16(4), pages 756-791, October.
    4. Juhn, Chinhui & Murphy, Kevin M & Pierce, Brooks, 1993. "Wage Inequality and the Rise in Returns to Skill," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 101(3), pages 410-442, June.
    5. Isaac Ehrlich, 1996. "Crime, Punishment, and the Market for Offenses," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 10(1), pages 43-67, Winter.
    6. Kenneth Burdett & Ricardo Lagos & Randall Wright, 2003. "Crime, Inequality, and Unemployment," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 93(5), pages 1764-1777, December.
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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Crime;

    JEL classification:

    • K42 - Law and Economics - - Legal Procedure, the Legal System, and Illegal Behavior - - - Illegal Behavior and the Enforcement of Law
    • D58 - Microeconomics - - General Equilibrium and Disequilibrium - - - Computable and Other Applied General Equilibrium Models
    • D99 - Microeconomics - - Micro-Based Behavioral Economics - - - Other

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