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The economics of crime: investigating the drugs-crime channel: empirical evidence from panel data of the German states

  • Entorf, Horst
  • Winkler, Peter

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. We analyse three different channels from drug abuse to crime: system?related, economic?related and pharmacological effects. Estimation with 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 to a strong economic?related channel of drug abuse on crime.

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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 01-37.

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Date of creation: 2001
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Handle: RePEc:zbw:zewdip:5392
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  1. 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.
  2. Raphael, Steven & Winter-Ebmer, Rudolf, 1999. "Identifying the Effect of Unemployment on Crime," CEPR Discussion Papers 2129, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  3. Steven D. Levitt & Sudhir Alladi Venkatesh, 2000. "An Economic Analysis Of A Drug-Selling Gang'S Finances," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 115(3), pages 755-789, August.
  4. White, Halbert, 1980. "A Heteroskedasticity-Consistent Covariance Matrix Estimator and a Direct Test for Heteroskedasticity," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 48(4), pages 817-38, May.
  5. 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.
  6. Hausman, Jerry, 2015. "Specification tests in econometrics," Applied Econometrics, Publishing House "SINERGIA PRESS", vol. 38(2), pages 112-134.
  7. Isaac Ehrlich, 1996. "Crime, Punishment, and the Market for Offenses," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 10(1), pages 43-67, Winter.
  8. 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.
  9. 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.
  10. Entorf, Horst, 1997. "Random walks with drifts: Nonsense regression and spurious fixed-effect estimation," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 80(2), pages 287-296, October.
  11. 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.
  12. 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.
  13. Grogger, Jeffrey, 1991. "Certainty vs. Severity of Punishment," Economic Inquiry, Western Economic Association International, vol. 29(2), pages 297-309, April.
  14. 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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