• Table of Contents
    • Abstract
    • Keywords
    • Article
      • Estimates of the causal effect of policing levels on crime rates
      • Estimates of the causal effect of incarceration rates on crime rates
      • Estimates distinguishing deterrence from incapacitation
      • Other empirical analyses of deterrence
    • See Also
    • Bibliography
    • How to cite this article

deterrence (empirical), economic analyses of

Steven D. Levitt and Thomas J. Miles
From The New Palgrave Dictionary of Economics, Second Edition, 2008
Edited by Steven N. Durlauf and Lawrence E. Blume
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Abstract

Empirical economic analyses of deterrence attempt to test the central prediction of Becker's (1968) rational-actor model of criminal behaviour: that less crime occurs when the expected penalties are greater. When economists have broken the simultaneity of crime rates and crime-control policies, they have generally concluded that policing levels and the scale of incarceration reduce crime rates. Economists have made less progress in determining whether these reductions in crime are due to deterrence or incapacitation, but the research suggests that both effects are likely present. Evidence on the deterrent effect of capital punishment and particular victim precautions is far less convincing.
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How to cite this article

Levitt, Steven D. and Thomas J. Miles. "deterrence (empirical), economic analyses of." The New Palgrave Dictionary of Economics. Second Edition. Eds. Steven N. Durlauf and Lawrence E. Blume. Palgrave Macmillan, 2008. The New Palgrave Dictionary of Economics Online. Palgrave Macmillan. 28 August 2014 <http://www.dictionaryofeconomics.com/article?id=pde2008_E000226> doi:10.1057/9780230226203.0383

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