Links between crime and economic development: EU classification
Keywords:crime, economic development, growth, EU, multi-criteria decision-making (MCDM), Promethee method, Entropy method
Research background: Although some authors propose that economic growth should reduce crime rates as wider opportunities to earn money in a legal way diminish the incentives to commit illegal activities and lead to rising costs of the latter, the results of many studies indicate that an increase in crime rates is also possible under the conditions of economic growth. There are also differing views on the relationship between various economic indicators and crime rates as well as the nature of the relationship between the above-mentioned phenomena in the long and short run.
Purpose of the article: After classifying the EU member states by their crime and economic indicators, the main objective of the article is to assess the relationship between the crime and economic development and identify the causes of this relationship.
Methods: Systematic and comparative literature analysis, the Promethee and Entropy methods, Spearman?s correlation coefficient.
Findings & value added: The Promethee method, together with the Entropy method, were used to estimate the weights of the EU member states with respect to their crime and economic development indicators. The most pronounced differences were recorded in Portugal, Spain, and the Slovak Republic. The rankings estimated for the EU member states revealed that although economic situation affects crime rate, it can also be affected by the differences in cultural and political development. Scientific novelty lies in complementing the theory of the shadow economy with the results showing that compared to other crimes, corruption has the greatest weight when examining the relationship between economic development and crime. The practical significance of the research lies in classifying the EU member states into 4 groups with consideration of the relationship between crime and economic development, which may help public authorities to devise the target measures for the effective fight against crime given the nature of the relationship between crime and economic development.
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