Monday, August 4, 2014
Brendan O'Flaherty and Rajiv Sethi (Columbia University, Graduate School of Arts and Sciences, Department of Economics and Columbia University, Barnard College - Department of Economics) has posted Urban Crime on SSRN. Here is the 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 non-traditional explanations often neglected by economists need to be explored more systematically.