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Working Paper
Crime and arrests: deterrence or resource reallocation?

We use monthly time-series data for 20 large U.S. cities to test the deterrence hypothesis (arrests reduce crimes) and the resource reallocation hypothesis (arrests follow from an increase in crime). We find (1) weak support for the deterrence hypothesis, (2) much stronger support for the resource reallocation hypothesis, and (3) differences in city-level estimates suggest much heterogeneity in the crime and arrest relationship across regions.
Working Papers , Paper 2010-011

Journal Article
The economics of crime

Gary S. Becker, the 1992 recipient of the Nobel Prize for Economic Science and Professor of Economics at the University of Chicago, spoke to business and community leaders as guest lecturer in the Federal Reserve Bank of Richmond's Economic Lecture Series. This article is excerpted from The Economics of Crime: Prevention, Enforcement, and Punishment, which outlined his premise that people decide whether to commit a crime by a comparison of the benefits and costs.
Cross Sections , Volume 12 , Issue Fall , Pages 8-15

Journal Article
Murder mystery

Regional Review , Issue Q1 , Pages 18-25

Working Paper
'Captive markets': the impact of kidnappings on corporate investment in Colombia

This paper measures the impact of crime on firm investment by exploiting variation in kidnappings in Colombia from 1996 to 2002. Our central result is that firms invest less when kidnappings directly target firms. We also find that broader forms of crime--homicides, guerrilla attacks, and general kidnappings--have no significant effect on investment. This finding alleviates concerns that our main result may be driven by unobserved variables that explain both overall criminal activity and investment. Furthermore, kidnappings that target firms reduce not only the investment of firms that sell ...
Finance and Economics Discussion Series , Paper 2006-18

Working Paper
Fewer Vacants, Fewer Crimes? Impacts of Neighborhood Revitalization Policies on Crime

The relationship between neighborhood physical environment and social disorder, particularly crime, is of critical interest to urban economists and sociologists, as well as local governments. Over the past 50 years, various policy interventions to improve physical conditions in distressed neighborhoods have also been heralded for their potential to reduce crime. Urban renewal programs in the mid-20th century and public housing redevelopment in the 1990s both subscribed to the idea that signs of physical disorder invite social disorder. More recently, the federal Neighborhood Stabilization ...
Finance and Economics Discussion Series , Paper 2015-88

Journal Article
Economics and crime in the states

Polls identify crime as the number one public worry. Crime also exacts tremendous costs not factored into official measures of well-being, and it is a favorite subject of political campaign promises. However, the public seems largely unaware that crime responds to economic conditions and incentives and that the results of a substantial body of work by economists have important implications for public policy. ; This article introduces the economics and crime literature by describing a simple supply-and-demand crime model in which criminals supply crime, the public demands protection from ...
Economic Review , Volume 84 , Issue Q1 , Pages 38-56

Journal Article
Report outlines new efforts to combat counterfeiting abroad

Financial Update , Volume 16 , Issue Q 2

On the political economy of income redistribution and crime

We study a one-sector growth model which is standard except for the presence of an externality in the production function. The set of competitive equilibria is large. It includes constant equilibria, sunspot equilibria, cyclical and chaotic equilibria, and equilibria with deterministic or stochastic regime switching. The efficient allocation is characterized by constant employment and a constant growth rate. We identify an income tax-subsidy schedule that supports the efficient allocation as the unique equilibrium outcome. That schedule has two properties: (i) it specifies the tax rate to be ...
Staff Report , Paper 216

Working Paper
The impact of illegal immigration and enforcement on border crime rates

Border crime rates lie consistently below the national average. In the 1990s, however, while there as a large decline in property-related crime along the U.S.-Mexico border, violent crime rates began to converge to the national average. At the same time, legal and illegal immigration from Mexico surged and border enforcement rose to unprecedented levels. In this paper, we investigate the relationship between border county crime rates, immigration and enforcement since the early 1990s. We find that while the volume of illegal immigration is not related to changes in property-related crime, ...
Working Papers , Paper 0303

Working Paper
What accounts for the decline in crime?

The authors? dynamic equilibrium model guides their quantitative investigation of the major determinants of property-crime patterns in the U.S. The model is capable of reproducing the drop in property crime that occurred between 1980 and 1996. The most important influences on the decline are a higher probability of apprehension, a stronger economy, and the aging of the population. The effect of unemployment on crime is negligible. Increased inequality in earnings prevented an even larger decline in crime. The authors? analysis can account for the behavior of the time series of property crime ...
Working Papers (Old Series) , Paper 0008


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