Economic Contributions to the Understanding of Crime
Posted: 18 Oct 2010
Date Written: December 2006
The past decade has seen a sharp increase in the application of empirical economic approaches to the study of crime and the criminal justice system. Much of this research has emphasized identifying causal impacts, as opposed to correlations. These studies have generally found that increases in police and greater incarceration lead to reduced crime. The death penalty, as currently used in the United States, does not appear to lower crime. We also review the evidence on three other crime-related debates in which economists have played a central role: racial profiling, concealed weapons laws, and the impact of legalized abortion.
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