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Wildfire crime, apprehension and social vulnerability in Italy

Alessandra Canepa () and Federico Drogo

Forest Policy and Economics, 2021, vol. 122, issue C

Abstract: In this paper, we analyse the socio-economic determinants of wildfire crime in Italy through panel data at the regional level. The first aim of the paper is to evaluate whether socioeconomic variables suggested by crime theory are linked to wildfire crime in Italy. Using Poisson-type models it is found that social vulnerability factors such as poverty and unemployment play an important role in driving wildfire crime. Organised crime is also found to be a significant factor explaining wildfire crime. A second aim of the paper is to investigate the effect of deterrence factors as fire prevention tools. Using regional data about forest fires charges we investigate the effect of apprehension at different levels of the law enforcement process. Namely, we compute proxies for the probability of standing trial once apprehended, the probability of being successfully identified as offender, and finally the probability of being convicted for wildfire crime. Our results provide evidence that law enforcement efforts are negatively related to the occurrence of wildfire crime.

Keywords: Wildfire crime; Socio-economic factors; Poisson models; Endogeneity (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: C21 C33 Q5 Q54 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2021
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DOI: 10.1016/j.forpol.2020.102330

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