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Determinants of the Crime Rate in Argentina during the 90's

  • Ana María Cerro

    (Universidad Nacional de Tucumán)

  • Osvaldo Meloni

    (Universidad Nacional de Tucumán)

Since Adam Smith, economists have emphasized income distribution and unemployment as key elements to explain criminal behavior. However, the empirical evidence did not always confirm such conjecture. Departing from the theoretical framework proposed by Becker (1968), the present paper identifies the determinants of the crime rate in Argentina using a panel data for 1990-99. As in previous papers studying the Argentina case, it is found that deterrence variables are important. However, unlike those papers, income distribution, unemployment and per capita GDP also played crucial roles, which has important implications for policy design. Classification JEL: K4, I3

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Paper provided by EconWPA in its series Law and Economics with number 0504001.

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Length: 16 pages
Date of creation: 08 Apr 2005
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:wpa:wuwple:0504001
Note: Type of Document - pdf; pages: 16
Contact details of provider: Web page: http://128.118.178.162

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  1. Meyers, Samuel L, Jr, 1983. "Estimating the Economic Model of Crime: Employment versus Punishment Effects," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 98(1), pages 157-66, February.
  2. Gary S. Becker, 1968. "Crime and Punishment: An Economic Approach," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 76, pages 169.
  3. Zhang, Junsen, 1997. "The Effect of Welfare Programs on Criminal Behavior: A Theoretical and Empirical Analysis," Economic Inquiry, Western Economic Association International, vol. 35(1), pages 120-37, January.
  4. Steven D. Levitt, 1995. "Using Electoral Cycles in Police Hiring to Estimate the Effect of Policeon Crime," NBER Working Papers 4991, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  5. Andreoni, James, 1995. "Criminal Deterrence in the Reduced Form: A New Perspective on Ehrlich's Seminal Study," Economic Inquiry, Western Economic Association International, vol. 33(3), pages 476-83, July.
  6. Gary S. Becker & George J. Stigler, 1974. "Law Enforcement, Malfeasance, and Compensation of Enforcers," The Journal of Legal Studies, University of Chicago Press, vol. 3(1), pages 1-18, January.
  7. Ehrlich, Isaac, 1977. "Capital Punishment and Deterrence: Some Further Thoughts and Additional Evidence," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 85(4), pages 741-88, August.
  8. Osvaldo Meloni, 2005. "Crecimiento potencial y productividad en la Argentina: 1980-1997," Development and Comp Systems 0503001, EconWPA.
  9. Benson, Bruce L. & Rasmussen, David W. & Kim, Iljoong, 1998. "Deterrence and Public Policy: Trade-Offs in the Allocation of Police Resources," International Review of Law and Economics, Elsevier, vol. 18(1), pages 77-100, March.
  10. 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.
  11. George J. Stigler, 1974. "The Optimum Enforcement of Laws," NBER Chapters, in: Essays in the Economics of Crime and Punishment, pages 55-67 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  12. Benson, B.L. & Kim, I. & Rasmussen, D.W., 1992. "Estimating Deterrence Effects: A Public Choice Perspective on the Economics of Crime Literature," Working Papers 1992_12_01, Department of Economics, Florida State University.
  13. Cameron, Samuel, 1988. "The Economics of Crime Deterrence: A Survey of Theory and Evidence," Kyklos, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 41(2), pages 301-23.
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