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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
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:zbw:zewdip:5189
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  1. 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.
  2. Edward L. Glaeser & Bruce Sacerdote, 1996. "Why Is There More Crime in Cities?," NBER Working Papers 5430, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  3. Isaac Ehrlich, 1996. "Crime, Punishment, and the Market for Offenses," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 10(1), pages 43-67, Winter.
  4. Steven D. Levitt, 1998. "Juvenile Crime and Punishment," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 106(6), pages 1156-1185, December.
  5. repec:tpr:qjecon:v:111:y:1996:i:2:p:507-48 is not listed on IDEAS
  6. Edward E. Glaeser & Bruce Sacerdote & Jose A. Scheinkman, 1995. "Crime and Social Interactions," Harvard Institute of Economic Research Working Papers 1738, Harvard - Institute of Economic Research.
  7. Jeff Grogger, 1997. "Market Wages and Youth Crime," NBER Working Papers 5983, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  8. 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.
  9. repec:tpr:qjecon:v:110:y:1995:i:1:p:51-71 is not listed on IDEAS
  10. repec:bla:restud:v:49:y:1982:i:4:p:533-49 is not listed on IDEAS
  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. Gary S. Becker, 1968. "Crime and Punishment: An Economic Approach," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 76, pages 169.
  13. George A. Akerlof, 1997. "Social Distance and Social Decisions," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 65(5), pages 1005-1028, September.
  14. 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.
  15. 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.
  16. 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.
  17. 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.
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