New Economics Papers
on Law and Economics
Issue of 2013‒01‒26
one paper chosen by
Jeong-Joon Lee, Towson University

  1. The Engine Immobilizer: a Non-Starter For Car Thieves By Ours, J.C. van; Vollaard, B.A.

  1. By: Ours, J.C. van; Vollaard, B.A. (Tilburg University, Center for Economic Research)
    Abstract: We provide evidence for a beneficial welfare impact of a crime policy that is targeted at strenghtening victim precaution. Regulation made application of the electronic engine immobilizer, a simple and low-cost anti-theft device, mandatory for all new cars sold within the European Union as of 1998. We exploit the regulation as source of exogenous variation in use of the device by year of manufacture of cars. Based on detailed data at the level of car models, we find that uniform application of the security device reduced the probability of car theft by an estimated 50 percent on average in the Netherlands during 1995-2008, accounting for both the protective effect on cars with the device and the displacement effect on cars without the device. The costs per prevented theft equal some 1,500 Euro; a fraction of the social benefits of a prevented car theft.
    Keywords: car theft;government regulation;crime;victim precaution
    JEL: K42 H11 H23
    Date: 2013

This issue is ©2013 by Jeong-Joon Lee. It is provided as is without any express or implied warranty. It may be freely redistributed in whole or in part for any purpose. If distributed in part, please include this notice.
General information on the NEP project can be found at For comments please write to the director of NEP, Marco Novarese at <>. Put “NEP” in the subject, otherwise your mail may be rejected.
NEP’s infrastructure is sponsored by the School of Economics and Finance of Massey University in New Zealand.