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Life is Now! Time Discounting and Crime: Aggregate Evidence from the Italian Regions (2002-2007)

  • Sergio Beraldo

    ()

    (Department of Theories and Methods of Social and Human Sciences, University of Napoli "Federico II", Italy)

  • Raul Caruso

    ()

    (Institute of Economic Policy, Catholic University of the Sacred Heart, Milan, Italy)

  • Gilberto Turati

    ()

    (Department of Economics and Statistics (Dipartimento di Scienze Economico-Sociali e Matematico-Statistiche), University of Torino, Italy)

This paper tests the relationship between time preferences and crime rates as posited by Davis (1988), whose theoretical analysis suggests that individuals’ attitude towards the future significantly affect their propensity to commit crime. Our empirical analysis is based on a panel of Italian regions for the period 2002-2007. Various proxies for time preferences are considered: the consumer credit share out of the total amount of loans to households, the share of obese individuals out of the total population, and the rate of marriages out of the total population. In line with the theoretical prediction, our empirical analysis confirms that where people are more impatient and discount the future more heavily, property and violent crimes are higher. Results are robust to a number of alternative specifications including covariates drawn from the literature on the determinants of crime.

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File URL: http://eco83.econ.unito.it/RePEc/wp/m13.pdf
File Function: First version, 2012
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Paper provided by Department of Economics and Statistics (Dipartimento di Scienze Economico-Sociali e Matematico-Statistiche), University of Torino in its series Working papers with number 013.

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Length: 38 pages
Date of creation: Oct 2012
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:tur:wpapnw:013
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