Journal article

Does Regulation of Built-in Security Reduce Crime? Evidence from a Natural Experiment

Ben Vollaard, Jan C van Ours



We provide evidence that large-scale government intervention in the use of self-protective measures lowers crime. Since 1999, all new-built homes in the Netherlands have to have burglary-proof windows and doors. We find the regulatory change to have reduced burglary in new-built homes from 1.1 to 0.8% annually, a reduction of 26%. Even though the regulation of built-in security does not target preventative measures at homes that are most at risk, the social benefits of the regulation are likely to exceed the social costs. © 2011 The Author(s). The Economic Journal © 2011 Royal Economic Society.

University of Melbourne Researchers