Handbook on the Economics of Crime
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Handbook on the Economics of Crime

Edited by Bruce L. Benson and Paul R. Zimmerman

While few economists analyzed criminal behaviour and the criminal justice process before Gary Becker’s seminal 1968 paper, an enormous body of economic research on crime has since been produced. This insightful and comprehensive Handbook reviews and extends much of this important resulting research.
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Chapter 20: Conclusion

Bruce L. Benson and Paul R. Zimmerman


Bruce L. Benson and Paul R. Zimmerman Despite the large economics-of-crime literature, many of the contributors to this volume conclude that the economics-of-crime issue(s) they focus on are still not resolved. Some also offer suggestions about and guidance for future research. We want to echo this conclusion by pointing out some of the economics-of-crime issues that are not covered in the volume. Indeed, this is far from a complete overview of the entire literature. We tried to find economists to write about some of these topics, without success (in one case we did find someone who promised to contribute a chapter, but the promise was not fulfilled). As the volume was coming together we also realized that there were topics that should have been included but that did not come to mind when we were organizing the collection. TOPICS WE CONSIDERED, AND IN SOME CASES TRIED TO INCLUDE A review of the economics literature on juvenile justice/juvenile crime would have been an appropriate addition to this volume, but the economists we asked to contribute were not able to. We wished we had searched harder. After all, there was some work on this topic in the early 1970s (Phillips et al., 1972) when the economics-of-crime literature was beginning to develop, and a number of interesting papers have also been produced in recent years (e.g. Grogger, 1998; Levitt, 1998; Levitt and Venkatesh, 2001; Ihlanfeldt, 2007; Sobel and Osoba, 2009). This also is an important issue given the portion of crimes that...

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