Tuesday, June 28, 2005

Crime reduction, economics style

Check out Nicolas Kristof's editorial in the N.Y Times today. Instead of merely spouting off the usual crap we hear from politicians, he actually makes some interesting economic arguments for how to reduce crime in America. Apparently, Low Jacks have reduced car theft in Boston by nearly 50%. Kristof reasons that "Car theft, it turns out, is a volume business. And so if even a small percentage of vehicles have LoJack, the professional thief will eventually steal a car with one and get caught." Kristof also touches on cost efficiency of adding police officers and reducing home thefts. Anyway, check out the editorial, it is pretty interesting.

"Sure, some of the crime-fighting ideas being bandied about are pie-in-the-sky. But they show how we can think about crime in systematic ways, rather than just grunting about the need for more prisons. We should be at least as creative in addressing crime as thieves are."