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Crime, Deterrence and Unemployment in England and Wales: An Empirical Analysis

Barry Reilly () and Robert Witt ()

Bulletin of Economic Research, 1996, vol. 48, issue 2, 137-59

Abstract: This paper uses aggregate data from 42 police-force areas over 12 years to test predictions of Becker's economic model of crime. The effects of measures for deterrence on the incidence of three types of acquisitive criminal activity (burglary, theft, robbery) in England and Wales are explored. Mixed support for the Becker model emerges. The growth in unemployment is seen to impact positively on two of the three types of criminal activity examined. Per capita household income is seen to have a negative effect on the recorded rates of burglary and theft, but there is some evidence that the income variable is a proxy for the effects of unemployment. Poor housing conditions and the relative youth of the population were found to play a role in the determination of criminal activity. Copyright 1996 by Blackwell Publishing Ltd and the Board of Trustees of the Bulletin of Economic Research

Date: 1996
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