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Determinants of crime rates: Crime Deterrence and Growth in post-liberalized India

  • Dutta, Mousumi
  • Husain, Zakir

Becker’s analysis of crime and punishment has initiated a series of theoretical and empirical works investigating the determinants of crime. However, there is a dearth of literature in the context of developing countries. This paper is an attempt to address this deficiency. The paper investigates the relative impact of deterrence variables (load on police force, arrest rates, charge sheet rates, conviction rates and quick disposal of cases) and socio-economic variables (economic growth, poverty,, urbanization and education) on crime rates in India. State-level data is collected on the above variables for the period 1999 to 2005.Zellner’s SURE model is used to estimate the model. Subsequently, this is extended by introducing endogeneity. The results show that both deterrence and socioeconomic factors are important in explaining crime rates. However, some of their effects are different from that observed in studies for developed countries.

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Paper provided by University Library of Munich, Germany in its series MPRA Paper with number 14478.

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Date of creation: Jan 2009
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Handle: RePEc:pra:mprapa:14478
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  1. Jeff Grogger, 1997. "Market Wages and Youth Crime," NBER Working Papers 5983, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  2. Belton M. Fleisher, 1963. "The Effect of Unemployment on Juvenile Delinquency," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 71, pages 543.
  3. Grogger, Jeffrey, 1995. "The Effect of Arrests on the Employment and Earnings of Young Men," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 110(1), pages 51-71, February.
  4. Mehlum,H. & Moene,K.O. & Torvik,R., 1999. "Crime induced poverty traps," Memorandum 35/1999, Oslo University, Department of Economics.
  5. Grogger, Jeffrey, 1991. "Certainty vs. Severity of Punishment," Economic Inquiry, Western Economic Association International, vol. 29(2), pages 297-309, April.
  6. Becker, Gary S, 1993. "Nobel Lecture: The Economic Way of Looking at Behavior," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 101(3), pages 385-409, June.
  7. Isaac Ehrlich, 1975. "On the Relation between Education and Crime," NBER Chapters, in: Education, Income, and Human Behavior, pages 313-338 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  8. Ehrlich, Isaac & Brower, George D, 1987. "On the Issue of Causality in the Economic Model of Crime and Law Enforcement: Some Theoretical Considerations and Experimental Evidence," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 77(2), pages 99-106, May.
  9. Richard B. Freeman, 1996. "Why Do So Many Young American Men Commit Crimes and What Might We Do about It?," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 10(1), pages 25-42, Winter.
  10. Fleisher, Belton M, 1970. "The Effect of Income on Delinquency: Reply," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 60(1), pages 257, March.
  11. Gary S. Becker, 1968. "Crime and Punishment: An Economic Approach," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 76, pages 169.
  12. Richard B. Freeman, 1991. "Crime and the Employment of Disadvantaged Youths," NBER Working Papers 3875, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  13. Dan Usher, 1997. "Education as a Deterrent to Crime," Canadian Journal of Economics, Canadian Economics Association, vol. 30(2), pages 367-84, May.
  14. Ehrlich, Isaac, 1973. "Participation in Illegitimate Activities: A Theoretical and Empirical Investigation," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 81(3), pages 521-65, May-June.
  15. Lance Lochner & Enrico Moretti, 2004. "The Effect of Education on Crime: Evidence from Prison Inmates, Arrests, and Self-Reports," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 94(1), pages 155-189, March.
  16. Fajnzylber, Pablo & Lederman, Daniel & Loayza, Norman, 2002. "What causes violent crime?," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 46(7), pages 1323-1357, July.
  17. Ehrlich, Isaac, 1981. "On the Usefulness of Controlling Individuals: An Economic Analysis of Rehabilitation, Incapacitation, and Deterrence," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 71(3), pages 307-22, June.
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