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Economic Contributions to the Understanding of Crime

Posted: 18 Oct 2010  

Steven D. Levitt

University of Chicago - Booth School of Business - Economics; National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)

Thomas J. Miles

University of Chicago - Law School

Date Written: December 2006

Abstract

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.

Suggested Citation

Levitt, Steven D. and Miles, Thomas J., Economic Contributions to the Understanding of Crime (December 2006). Annual Review of Law and Social Science, Vol. 2, pp. 147-164, 2006. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1693691 or http://dx.doi.org/10.1146/annurev.lawsocsci.2.081805.105856

Steven D. Levitt (Contact Author)

University of Chicago - Booth School of Business - Economics ( email )

Graduate School of Business
1101 East 58th Street
Chicago, IL 60637
United States

National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER) ( email )

1050 Massachusetts Avenue
Cambridge, MA 02138
United States

Thomas J. Miles

University of Chicago - Law School ( email )

1111 E. 60th St.
Chicago, IL 60637
United States

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