The Under-Reporting of Property Crime: A Microeconometric Analysis.
reportposted on 16.03.2009, 15:32 by Ziggy MacDonald
In this paper we use data from the 1994 and 1996 British Crime Surveys (BCS) to examine the influence of socio-economic factors on the reporting of crime. Through probit estimation, we find that the probability of a burglary being reported is significantly reduced if the individual is currently unemployed or has been engaged in illicit activity over the past year. We also find that, as anticipated, the reporting likelihood is much increased if the incident involves a positively valued loss. Using decomposition techniques, we also show that this result is not driven by differences in mean sample characteristics. Our results suggest that the difference between the recorded crime rate and the true crime rate is not constant through the economic cycle. This may have implications for models of crime and economic activity that make use of recorded crime figures.