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Is Crime in Turkey Economically Rational?



ID: <10670/1.r2i1pg>


The study investigates whether crime in Turkey is governed by economic rationality. An economic model of rational behaviour claims that the propensity to commit criminal activities is negatively related to risk of deterrence. Potential presence of higher risk profiles for certain population segments is investigated. Panel data aggregated to sub-regional levels and observed annually for the years 2008 to 2010 are applied. Controls for endogeneity among criminal activity level and risk of deterrence, intra-regional correlation, inter-temporal heterogeneity and spatial spillover are exerted. A positive effect of risk of deterrence on criminal activity is found which conflicts with the hypothesised economic rationality. Certain population segments are identified as obvious target groups for regional policy initiatives aiming to reduce criminal activities. These are in particular unemployed and males. On the other hand, educational attainment, poverty and youngsters are less obvious target groups, while the potential relationship between population density and crime is ambiguous. Finally, spatial spillover patters related to criminal activities seem to be highly relevant, thus implying that while initiatives toward criminal activities may well be formed at the regional level, coordination across regions might obviously be called for.

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