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Is there a natural rate of crime in Russia?

N. Myachin
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N. Myachin: St. Petersburg University of the Ministry of Internal Affairs of the Russian Federation, St. Petersburg, Russia

Journal of the New Economic Association, 2022, vol. 53, issue 1, 85-98

Abstract: According to the concept of the natural rate of crime the number of crimes committed in the long term depends not on the direct costs of society to combat them, but on the quality of the work of socio-economic institutions. Empirical verification of the presence of this phenomenon in some countries is reflected in foreign studies, while in Russia such works are more descriptive than applied. At the same time, determining the natural rate of crime is important for the strategic planning in the economy, as it allows minimizing the costs of combating crime and increasing the efficiency of budget expenditures. The purpose of this article is to check whether there is a natural crime rate in Russia. For this purpose the indicators of the crime rate in Russia from 1992 to 2020 are analyzed using unit root tests. We apply both conventional unit root tests and tests that take into account structural breaks and spatial correlation between the subjects of panel data, which are the federal districts. The results of the study allow to conclude that there is a natural crime rate in Russia for rapes, hijackings and traffic violations. In the context of the deterrence hypothesis, counteracting these types of crimes will lead to a temporary decrease in their level, which will inevitably return to its previous values. The author attributes the absence of a natural level for most types of Russian crime to the state of public institutions and the mobility of the institutional structure, as well as to the limitations of official criminal statistics.

Keywords: natural crime rate; unit root; deterrence hypothesis; institutional anomie; structural break; criminometrics; Dickey-Fuller test; panel data (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: E60 K14 Z18 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2022
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DOI: 10.31737/2221-2264-2022-53-1-4

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