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The impact of social capital on crime: Evidence from the Netherlands

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  • Akçomak, İ. Semih
  • ter Weel, Bas

Abstract

This research shows that social capital is important in explaining why crime is so heterogeneous across space. Social capital is considered as a latent construct composed of a variety of indicators, such as blood donations, voter turnout, voluntary contributions to community well-being, and trust. To isolate exogenous variation in social capital, three historical variables are used as instruments: the fraction of foreigners, the number of schools and the fraction of Protestants in 1859. The historical information provides heterogeneity across municipalities in these three variables. In an application to Dutch municipalities the 2SLS estimates suggest that the exogenous component of social capital is significantly and negatively correlated with current crime rates, after controlling for a range of contemporaneous socio-economic indicators. Next, the robustness analysis shows why some social capital indicators are more useful than others in applied economic research.

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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by Elsevier in its journal Regional Science and Urban Economics.

Volume (Year): 42 (2012)
Issue (Month): 1-2 ()
Pages: 323-340

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Handle: RePEc:eee:regeco:v:42:y:2012:i:1:p:323-340

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Keywords: Social capital; Crime; The Netherlands;

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Cited by:
  1. Semih Akcomak & Bas ter Weel, 2009. "The impact of social capital on crime: Evidence from the Netherlands," CPB Discussion Paper 136, CPB Netherlands Bureau for Economic Policy Analysis.
  2. Rosetta Lombardo & Marianna Falcone, 2011. "Crime And Economic Performance. A Cluster Analysis Of Panel Data On Italy'S Nuts 3 Regions," Working Papers 201112, Università della Calabria, Dipartimento di Economia, Statistica e Finanza (Ex Dipartimento di Economia e Statistica).
  3. Beraldo, Sergio & Caruso, Raul & Turati, Gilberto, 2013. "Life is now! Time preferences and crime: Aggregate evidence from the Italian regions," Journal of Behavioral and Experimental Economics (formerly The Journal of Socio-Economics), Elsevier, vol. 47(C), pages 73-81.
  4. Akcomak, Semih, 2009. "Bridges in social capital: A review of the definitions and the social capital of social capital researchers," MERIT Working Papers 002, United Nations University - Maastricht Economic and Social Research Institute on Innovation and Technology (MERIT).

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