Participation in Illegitimate Activities: Ehrlich Revisited, 1960 (ICPSR 8677)

Published: Feb 16, 1992

Principal Investigator(s):
Walter Vandaele, University of California-Los Angeles. Department of Economics

Version V1

This study re-analyzes Isaac Ehrlich's 1960 cross-section data on the relationship between aggregate levels of punishment and crime rates. It provides alternative model specifications and estimations. The study examined the deterrent effects of punishment on seven FBI index crimes: murder, rape, assault, larceny, robbery, burglary, and auto theft. Socio-economic variables include family income, percentage of families earning below half of the median income, unemployment rate for urban males in the age groups 14-24 and 35-39, labor force participation rate, educational level, percentage of young males and non-whites in the population, percentage of population in the SMSA, sex ratio, and place of occurrence. Two sanction variables are also included: 1) the probability of imprisonment, and 2) the average time served in prison when sentenced (severity of punishment). Also included are: per capita police expenditure for 1959 and 1960, and the crime rates for murder, rape, assault, larceny, robbery, burglary, and auto theft.

Vandaele, Walter. Participation in Illegitimate Activities:  Ehrlich Revisited, 1960. Ann Arbor, MI: Inter-university Consortium for Political and Social Research [distributor], 1992-02-16.

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United States Department of Justice. Office of Justice Programs. National Institute of Justice (J-LEAA-006-76)


(1) U.S. Census, (2) FBI Uniform Crime Reports,and (3) National Prison Statistics

survey data




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This dataset is maintained and distributed by the National Archive of Criminal Justice Data (NACJD), the criminal justice archive within ICPSR. NACJD is primarily sponsored by three agencies within the U.S. Department of Justice: the Bureau of Justice Statistics, the National Institute of Justice, and the Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention.