Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Got numbers?

Kenneth Glenn Dau-Schmidt and Carmen L. Brun elaborated a paper dealing with different popularity of law and economics in Europe and USA. Amongst some of the major differences are common-law system, different peer-review tradition (journals reviewed by students), state-oriented (communitarian) society in Europe, rather rare mobility among academics, judiciary and practitioners, and a few other.

Trying to contribute with a nice informative article, I have discovered an additional cause (and effect as well) of the L&E underestimation in Europe (and Slovakia especially) - THE (inaccessibility of) numbers.

Based on the SLOVSTAT data, percentage of the closed cases have declined by 46,6 points from 1989* to 2006. This massive decline made me think about possible causes. I approached Slovak Ministry of Interior with an obvious question: "What was the number of police officers and police budget from 1989 to 2006?"

The answer, dear reader, is confidential (read "lost for good"), apart from years 2005-2007 (where we can observe 94 policemen and 1,025 million crowns salary costs increase) and if we do not want to end up being interrogated like Minin brothers, waiting ten years more seems to be a good idea.

Or maybe we could just develop some false memories about our crime rates. Whatever!

* I did not want to spare you the phony number from 1989. Communist duty to explain every crime committed made all the magic:) - or did you really believe those 46,6 percents? I understand both:).

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