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Criminal Deterrence: Revisiting the Issue with a Birth Cohort

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  • Helen Tauchen
  • Ann Dryden Witte
  • Harriet Griesinger

Abstract

In this paper, we estimate the general deterrent effect of criminal justice resources on criminal behavior. Our panel data, which combine individual-level information on arrests and personal characteristics with aggregate measures of criminal justice resources, allow us to obtain deterrence measures that more closely reflect theoretical concepts and are of potential policy relevance. We find robust evidence of a general deterrent effect in our estimates of error components probit and Tobit models.

Suggested Citation

  • Helen Tauchen & Ann Dryden Witte & Harriet Griesinger, 1993. "Criminal Deterrence: Revisiting the Issue with a Birth Cohort," NBER Working Papers 4277, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  • Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:4277
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    3. W. Kip Viscusi, 1986. "Market Incentives for Criminal Behavior," NBER Chapters, in: The Black Youth Employment Crisis, pages 301-351, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    4. Block, Michael Kent & Nold, Frederick Carl, 1981. "The Deterrent Effect of Antitrust Enforcement," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 89(3), pages 429-445, June.
    5. Helen V. Tauchen & Ann Dryden Witte & Harriet Griesinger, 1988. "Deterrence, Work and Crime: Revisiting the Issues with Birth Cohort Data," NBER Working Papers 2508, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    6. Richard B. Freeman & Harry J. Holzer, 1986. "The Black Youth Employment Crisis," NBER Books, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc, number free86-1, January.
    7. Richard B. Freeman, 1986. "Who Escapes? The Relation of Churchgoing and Other Background Factors to the Socioeconomic Performance of Black Male Youths from Inner-City Tracts," NBER Chapters, in: The Black Youth Employment Crisis, pages 353-376, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    8. Cushing, Matthew J & McGarvey, Mary G, 1985. "Identification by Disaggregation," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 75(5), pages 1165-1167, December.
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    11. Cook, Philip J., 1979. "The clearance rate as a measure of criminal justice system effectiveness," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 11(1), pages 135-142, February.
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    Cited by:

    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. Patricia Funk & Peter Kugler, 2003. "Identifying Efficient Crime‐Combating Policies by VAR Models: The Example of Switzerland," Contemporary Economic Policy, Western Economic Association International, vol. 21(4), pages 525-538, October.
    3. Levitt, Steven D, 1998. "Why Do Increased Arrest Rates Appear to Reduce Crime: Deterrence, Incapacitation, or Measurement Error?," Economic Inquiry, Western Economic Association International, vol. 36(3), pages 353-372, July.
    4. Kessler, Daniel P & Levitt, Steven D, 1999. "Using Sentence Enhancements to Distinguish between Deterrence and Incapacitation," Journal of Law and Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 42(1), pages 343-363, April.

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    JEL classification:

    • K14 - Law and Economics - - Basic Areas of Law - - - Criminal Law

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