NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH
NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH

NBER Working Papers by Garrett Summers

Contact and additional information for this authorAll papers and publicationsWorking Papers onlyWorking Papers with publication info

Working Papers

January 2008What Do Economists Know About Crime?
with Angela K. Dills, Jeffrey A. Miron: 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...

Contact and additional information for this authorAll papers and publicationsWorking Papers onlyWorking Papers with publication info

 
Publications
Activities
Meetings
Data
People
About

Support
National Bureau of Economic Research, 1050 Massachusetts Ave., Cambridge, MA 02138; 617-868-3900; email: info@nber.org

Contact Us