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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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    1. 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.
    2. 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.
    3. 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.
    4. Chamberlain, Gary, 1984. "Panel data," Handbook of Econometrics,in: Z. Griliches† & M. D. Intriligator (ed.), Handbook of Econometrics, edition 1, volume 2, chapter 22, pages 1247-1318 Elsevier.
    5. Cushing, Matthew J & McGarvey, Mary G, 1985. "Identification by Disaggregation," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 75(5), pages 1165-1167, December.
    6. Richard B. Freeman & Harry J. Holzer, 1986. "The Black Youth Employment Crisis," NBER Books, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc, number free86-1, June.
    7. Rivers, Douglas & Vuong, Quang H., 1988. "Limited information estimators and exogeneity tests for simultaneous probit models," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 39(3), pages 347-366, November.
    8. 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.
    9. William T. Dickens & Lawrence F. Katz, 1986. "Interindustry Wage Differences and Industry Characteristics," NBER Working Papers 2014, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    10. 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.
    11. 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.
    12. Moulton, Brent R, 1990. "An Illustration of a Pitfall in Estimating the Effects of Aggregate Variables on Micro Unit," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 72(2), pages 334-338, May.
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    Cited by:

    1. 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.
    2. 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.

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

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

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