CLEAN - LSE Seminar Series - Mike Makowsky (Clemson University)


The next CLEAN seminar, in collaboration with LSE, will take place on Wednesday, March 6th 2024 from 4-5 p.m. Italian time.

The presenter will be Mike Makowsky (Clemson University). The title of the paper is "Better Stealing Than Dealing? The Effects of Felony Theft Thresholds", coauthored with Stephen Billings (University of Colorado - Boulder), Adam Soliman (London School of Economics), and Kevin Schnepel (Simon Fraser University).



From 2005 to 2019, 40 US states increased the property value threshold delineating misdemeanor and felony theft, reducing the expected punishment for a subset of property crimes. Using an event study framework, we observe persistent increases in theft within 6 months of legislation enaction. Rates of property crimes whose felony status are unbound by the thresholds (burglary and robbery) remain unchanged. Reduced theft deterrence has broader effects in the market for illegal activity. We observe evidence of substitution across income-generating crimes, with immediate and persistent decreases in arrests for drug distribution. We also observe increases in drug possession arrests, opioid consumption, and opioid mortality, offering evidence of greater cash-on-hand from illicit activity that is consistent with high measured rates of drug use amongst convicted criminals.


You may follow the event online via Zoom Meetings at the following link: - Meeting ID: 935 3789 3727 - Passcode: 327396