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Urban Crime

O’Flaherty, Brendan and Rajiv Sethi

Chapter Chapter 23 in Handbook of Regional and Urban Economics, 2015, vol. 5, pp 1519-1621 from Elsevier

Abstract: We survey the literature on index crime, paying particular attention to spatial issues. We note the contrasting descriptive traditions of Lombroso (characteristics matter) and Beccaria (incentives matter), and the contrasting policy traditions of incapacitation (predict who will offend and keep them from doing it) and deterrence (uncover who offended and punish them). The economics of crime has several points of contact with the economics of space, since the commission of an index crime requires proximity between offenders and victims (or their property). We explore these linkages, as well as a range of other issues: the effects of certainty and severity of punishment on crime; the role of stereotypes in interactions between offenders, victims, and law enforcement officers; and racial disparities in victimization, offending, and incarceration. The economics of crime has made tremendous progress, but enormous variation across both time and space remains poorly understood, and many nontraditional explanations often neglected by economists need to be explored more systematically.

Keywords: Crime; Victimization; Offending; Monitoring; Enforcement; K42; H76; R12 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2015
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DOI: 10.1016/B978-0-444-59531-7.00023-5

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