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Crime, Deterrence, and Democracy

CERGE-EI Working Paper No. 260

45 Pages Posted: 12 Dec 2005  

Libor Dusek

University of Chicago - Department of Economics

Date Written: September 2005


We provide new evidence on the effect of deterrence on crime using the experience of a transition country (the Czech Republic) as a quasi-natural experiment. The arrival of democracy in 1989 was accompanied by sharp reductions in all measures of deterrence and sharp increases in crime rates. We test whether deterrence, rather than other factors, was responsible for the post-1989 growth in crime on a panel dataset of Czech regions. The results show significant deterrence effects for robberies and thefts that are quantitatively similar to those found in previous literature, but insignificant deterrence effects for murders and rapes.

Keywords: Crime, deterrence

JEL Classification: K14, K42, P37

Suggested Citation

Dusek, Libor, Crime, Deterrence, and Democracy (September 2005). CERGE-EI Working Paper No. 260. Available at SSRN: or

Libor Dusek (Contact Author)

University of Chicago - Department of Economics ( email )

1126 East 59th Street
Chicago, IL 60637
United States

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