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The Economics of Crime: Investigating the Drugs-Crime Channel

  • Horst Entorf

    (Darmstadt University of Technology)

  • Peter Winker

    (International University in Germany, Bruchsal)

The rising trends both in drug addiction and crime rates are of major public concern in Germany. Surprisingly, the economic theory of crime seems to ignore the drugs-crime nexus, whereas the criminological literature considers illicit drug use a main reason of criminal activities. This paper provides an econometric assessment of the drugs- crime channel within a Becker-Ehrlich model of crime supply. Estimations based on panel data from the German states allows us to take into account further factors that might influence both drug abuse and crime. The results indicate that drug offences have a significant impact, in particular on property crimes. We attribute this finding to a strong economic-related channel of drug abuse on crime.

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Paper provided by EconWPA in its series Law and Economics with number 0108001.

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Length: 42 pages
Date of creation: 06 Sep 2001
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:wpa:wuwple:0108001
Note: Type of Document - Tex; pages: 42
Contact details of provider: Web page: http://econwpa.repec.org

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  1. Raphael, Steven & Winter-Ember, Rudolf, 2001. "Identifying the Effect of Unemployment on Crime," Journal of Law and Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 44(1), pages 259-83, April.
  2. Levitt, Steven D, 1996. "The Effect of Prison Population Size on Crime Rates: Evidence from Prison Overcrowding Litigation," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 111(2), pages 319-51, May.
  3. Entorf, Horst & Spengler, Hannes, 1998. "Socio-economic and demographic factors of crime in Germany: evidence from panel data of the German states," ZEW Discussion Papers 98-16, ZEW - Zentrum für Europäische Wirtschaftsforschung / Center for European Economic Research.
  4. Gary S. Becker, 1968. "Crime and Punishment: An Economic Approach," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 76, pages 169.
  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. 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.
  7. Anderson, David A, 1999. "The Aggregate Burden of Crime," Journal of Law and Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 42(2), pages 611-42, October.
  8. 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 270-90, June.
  9. 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 353-72, July.
  10. H. Naci Mocan & Hope Corman, 2000. "A Time-Series Analysis of Crime, Deterrence, and Drug Abuse in New York City," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 90(3), pages 584-604, June.
  11. Grogger, Jeffrey, 1991. "Certainty vs. Severity of Punishment," Economic Inquiry, Western Economic Association International, vol. 29(2), pages 297-309, April.
  12. Kuziemko, Ilyana & Levitt, Steven D., 2004. "An empirical analysis of imprisoning drug offenders," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 88(9-10), pages 2043-2066, August.
  13. Bhargava, A & Franzini, L & Narendranathan, W, 1982. "Serial Correlation and the Fixed Effects Model," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 49(4), pages 533-49, October.
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