NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH
NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH

NBER Publications by Angela Dills

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Working Papers and Chapters

July 2010What Do Economists Know about Crime?
with Jeffrey A. Miron, Garrett Summers
in The Economics of Crime: Lessons for and from Latin America, Rafael Di Tella, Sebastian Edwards, and Ernesto Schargrodsky, editors
January 2008What Do Economists Know About Crime?
with Jeffrey A. Miron, Garrett Summers: w13759
In this paper we evaluate what economists have learned over the past 40 years about the determinants of crime. We base our evaluation on two kinds of evidence: an examination of aggregate data over long time periods and across countries, and a critical review of the literature. We argue that economists know little about the empirically relevant determinants of crime. Even hypotheses that find some support in U.S. data for recent decades are inconsistent with data over longer horizons or across countries. This conclusion applies both to policy variables like arrest rates or capital punishment and to less conventional factors such as abortion or gun laws. The hypothesis that drug prohibition generates violence, however, is generally consistent with the long times-series and cross-country fac...
May 2003Alcohol Prohibition and Cirrhosis
with Jeffrey K. Miron: w9681
This paper uses state-level data on cirrhosis death rates to examine the impact of state prohibitions, pre-1920 federal anti-alcohol policies, and constitutional prohibition on cirrhosis State prohibitions had a minimal impact on cirrhosis, especially during the pre-1920 period. Pre-1920 federal anti-alcohol policies may have contributed to the decline in cirrhosis that occurred before 1920, although other factors were likely substantial influences as well. Constitutional prohibition reduced cirrhosis by about 10-20 percent.

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