Economics of Crime from Two New Perspectives: What are the Effects of Surveillance Cameras and Alcohol Regulations?

Project leader

Funding source

Swedish Research Council - Vetenskapsrådet (VR)

Project Details

Start date: 01/01/2011
End date: 31/12/2013
Funding: 2898000 SEK


Surveillance cameras have become a popular method to combat crime, but they may intrude upon privacy. The first part of this project studies the effects of surveillance cameras on crime. We will exploit three natural experiments in a wide range of environments (cameras in the subway, in soccer stadiums, and in shops) and thereby contribute to the heated policy debate. This will be seminal work in economics and it will, with the strong research design, contribute to the criminology literature. The second part deals with the effects of alcohol regulations. Using individual data, we first study the effects of alcohol availability on crime and health. We will use a natural experiment where 84 "Systembolaget" outlets were opened from 1978 and onwards. This research design constitutes a strong improvement compared to the previous literature and it will generate policy implications. We then analyze the effect of different punishments for drunk driving (imprisonment versus fees) on relapses into drunk driving and other crimes. We take advantage of a unique Swedish data set on breathalyzer tests for drunk driving, which we match with sentences and socioeconomic variables. To study the causal effect, we use a regression discontinuity approach, where we study individuals just above the limit for imprisonment with those just below it. Using this data set, we finally examine the effects of culture on drunk driving and contribute to an emerging economics literature on culture.

Last updated on 2017-31-03 at 12:56