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Socio-economic and demographic factors of crime in Germany: evidence from panel data of the German states

  • Entorf, Horst
  • Spengler, Hannes

Our study is based on the traditional Becker-Ehrlich deterrence model, but we analyse the model in the face of currently discussed factors of crime like demographic changes, youth-unemployment and income inequality. We use a panel of the German Laender (states) that allows us to exploit different experiences in densely and sparsely populated areas as well as in East and West Germany. Our results are based on static and dynamic panel econometrics/criminometrics. They confirm the deterrence hypothesis for crime against property. Only weak support can be observed for crime against the person. Economic and demographic factors reveal important and significant influences. Being young and unemployed increases the probability of committing crimes.

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Paper provided by ZEW - Zentrum für Europäische Wirtschaftsforschung / Center for European Economic Research in its series ZEW Discussion Papers with number 98-16.

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Date of creation: 1998
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Handle: RePEc:zbw:zewdip:5189
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  1. Gary S. Becker, 1968. "Crime and Punishment: An Economic Approach," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 76, pages 169.
  2. Grogger, Jeff, 1998. "Market Wages and Youth Crime," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 16(4), pages 756-91, October.
  3. Jeffrey Grogger, 1995. "The Effect of Arrests on the Employment and Earnings of Young Men," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 110(1), pages 51-71.
  4. Edward L. Glaeser & Bruce Sacerdote, 1996. "Why Is There More Crime in Cities?," NBER Working Papers 5430, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  5. 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.
  6. Steven D. Levitt, 1997. "Juvenile Crime and Punishment," NBER Working Papers 6191, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  7. Entorf, Horst & Spengler, Hannes, 2000. "Socioeconomic and demographic factors of crime in Germany: Evidence from panel data of the German states," International Review of Law and Economics, Elsevier, vol. 20(1), pages 75-106, March.
  8. 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.
  9. Wolpin, Kenneth I, 1978. "An Economic Analysis of Crime and Punishment in England and Wales, 1894-1967," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 86(5), pages 815-40, October.
  10. Isaac Ehrlich, 1996. "Crime, Punishment, and the Market for Offenses," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 10(1), pages 43-67, Winter.
  11. Alan B. Krueger & Jorn-Steffen Pischke, 1996. "A Statistical Analysis of Crime Against Foreigners in Unified Germany," NBER Working Papers 5485, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  12. 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.
  13. A. Bhargava & L. Franzini & W. Narendranathan, 1982. "Serial Correlation and the Fixed Effects Model," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 49(4), pages 533-549.
  14. George A. Akerlof, 1997. "Social Distance and Social Decisions," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 65(5), pages 1005-1028, September.
  15. Edward L. Glaeser & Bruce Sacerdote & Jose A. Scheinkman, 1995. "Crime and Social Interactions," NBER Working Papers 5026, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  16. Jenny Williams & Robin C. Sickles, 1998. "On the Role of Social Capital in Youth Crime: A Dynamic Structural Approach," School of Economics Working Papers 1998-02, University of Adelaide, School of Economics.
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