Participation in Illegitimate Activities: A Theoretical and Empirical Investigation

46 Pages Posted: 7 Feb 2007

See all articles by Isaac Ehrlich

Isaac Ehrlich

State University of New York at Buffalo - Department of Economics; National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER); University of Chicago - University of Chicago Press; Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA)

Abstract

A theory of participation in illegitimate activities is developed and tested against data on variations in index crimes across states in the United States. Theorems and behavioral implications are derived using the state preference approach to behavior under uncertainty. The investigation deals directly with the interaction between offense and defense: crime and collective law enforcement. It indicates the existence of a deterrent effect of law-enforcement activity on all crimes and a strong positive correlation between income inequality and crimes against property. The empirical results also provide some tentative estimates of the effectiveness of law enforcement in reducing crime and the resulting social losses.

Suggested Citation

Ehrlich, Isaac, Participation in Illegitimate Activities: A Theoretical and Empirical Investigation. Journal of Political Economy, Vol. 81, No. 3, pp. 521-565, May-June 1973. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=961495

Isaac Ehrlich (Contact Author)

State University of New York at Buffalo - Department of Economics ( email )

415 Fronczak Hall
Buffalo, NY 14260
United States
716-645 2121 (Phone)
716-645 2127 (Fax)

HOME PAGE: http://arts-sciences.buffalo.edu/economics/faculty/faculty-directory/ehrlich.html

National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER) ( email )

1050 Massachusetts Avenue
Cambridge, MA 02138
United States

University of Chicago - University of Chicago Press ( email )

1427 E. 60th Street
Chicago, IL 60637
United States

Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA) ( email )

P.O. Box 7240
Bonn, D-53072
Germany

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