Prices, Policing and Policy: The Dynamics of Crime Booms and Busts

64 Pages Posted: 31 Mar 2018 Last revised: 1 Oct 2018

See all articles by Tom Kirchmaier

Tom Kirchmaier

London School of Economics - Centre for Economic Performance; Copenhagen Business School

Stephen J. Machin

London School of Economics & Political Science (LSE) - Centre for Economic Performance (CEP); London School of Economics & Political Science (LSE) - Department of Economics

Matteo Sandi

London School of Economics & Political Science (LSE) - Centre for Economic Performance (CEP)

Robert Witt

University of Surrey

Multiple version iconThere are 2 versions of this paper

Date Written: September 26, 2018

Abstract

In many historical episodes, criminal activity displays booms and busts. One clear example is the case of metal crime in the UK (and elsewhere) where, in the face of big increases in value driven by world commodity prices, thefts rose very sharply in the 2000s, after which they fell. This paper studies the respective roles of prices, policing and policy in shaping this crime boom and bust. Separate study of each reveals metal crime being driven up via sizeable and significant metal crime-price elasticities and driven down by changes in policing and policy. A regression-based decomposition analysis confirms that all three of the hypothesised factors considered in the paper – prices, policing and policy – were empirically important in the different stages of metal theft’s boom and bust.

Keywords: Metal Crime; Metal Prices; Commodity Prices

JEL Classification: K42

Suggested Citation

Kirchmaier, Tom and Machin, Stephen J. and Sandi, Matteo and Witt, Robert, Prices, Policing and Policy: The Dynamics of Crime Booms and Busts (September 26, 2018). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3149413 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.3149413

Tom Kirchmaier (Contact Author)

London School of Economics - Centre for Economic Performance ( email )

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HOME PAGE: http://https://sites.google.com/site/tomkirchmaier/home

Copenhagen Business School ( email )

Porcelænshaven 24A, 3rd floor
Copenhagen
Denmark

Stephen J. Machin

London School of Economics & Political Science (LSE) - Centre for Economic Performance (CEP) ( email )

Houghton Street
London WC2A 2AE
United Kingdom

London School of Economics & Political Science (LSE) - Department of Economics ( email )

Houghton Street
London WC2A 2AE
United Kingdom

Matteo Sandi

London School of Economics & Political Science (LSE) - Centre for Economic Performance (CEP) ( email )

Houghton Street
London WC2A 2AE
United Kingdom

Robert Witt

University of Surrey ( email )

Guildford
Guildford, Surrey GU2 5XH
United Kingdom

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