Measuring corporate environmental crime rates: progress and problems
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- Gibbs, C. & Simpson, S.S. Crime Law Soc Change (2009) 51: 87. doi:10.1007/s10611-008-9145-1
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The problem of corporate crime rates has been the subject of debate, speculation and operationalization for decades, largely stemming from the complexity of measuring this type of crime. Examining corporate environmental crime poses challenges and creates opportunities for advancing the discussion of corporate crime rates, but criminologists are less familiar with environmental data. In the current paper, we review the strengths and weaknesses of existing environmental data that can be used to construct the components of an environmental crime rate. We also present a corporate environmental crime rate derived from data on violations of the Clean Water Act and describe problems with using it in real world data. Implications for theory, practice and future research are discussed.