Black-white differentials in crime rates
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In this paper a choice-theoretic model of participation in crime is adopted to capture some of the conventional explanations for why Blacks have higher crime rates than whites. Naively, the controversial proposition that higher black crimes rates are illusory is eschewed. Instead, it is assumed for expository purposes that Blacks really are more criminal than whites.
KeywordsTime Serve Wage Rate Criminal Justice System Crime Rate Black Political Economy
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- 6.A detailed proof is found in S. L. Myers, Jr., “Labor Market Discrimination and Racial Differences in Participation in Crime,” presented at the European Meetings of the Econometric Society, Geneva, Switzerland, September 5–8, 1978. Here no attempt is made to conceptually distinguish between the deterrent and rehabilitation effects of punishment. The deterrent effect can be thought of as the impact of a change in expected punishment on decisions today. The rehabilitative effect can be thought of as the impact of a change in actual punishment today on the punished person’s decisions tomorrow. In a sense, then, rehabilitation is future deterrence. In a continuous time model it becomes difficult to make this fine distinction without explicitly adopting a closed loop formulation. Obviously, incapacitation effects are ignored in the open loop formulation, although the results in this paper do not depend at all upon the distinction between rehabilitative and deterrent effects. For a discrete open loop feedback formulation that distinguishes among the incapacitation, rehabilitation, and deterrent effects of punishment, see S. L. Myers, “The Rehabilitation Effect of Punishment,”Economic Inquiry, forthcoming, 1979.Google Scholar
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- 8.These results differ in two respects from those reported in my paper “The Incidence of Justice,” in C. M. Gray, ed.,The Costs of Crime (Beverly Hills: Sage Publications, 1979). First of all, results of this paper are based on a three year follow-up whereas the previous work analyses a one year follow-up. Second, the conceptual experiment performed was to treat Blacks as whites and whites as Blacks. The crime rates diverged dramatically with whites becoming significantly more criminal than Blacks.Google Scholar