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The Effects of Labor Markets and Income Inequality on Crime: Evidence from Panel Data

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  • Joanne M. Doyle
  • Ehsan Ahmed
  • Robert N. Horn

Abstract

We estimate a model of crime using panel data for the U.S. We focus on the role of labor markets, income distribution, and demographics on property crime. We find strong evidence that favorable labor market conditions have a significant negative effect on property crime. We further test this result using sector-specific wages and find that crime is most elastic with respect to wages in sectors that use low-skilled labor. We also find that income inequality has no significant effect on crime and that the proportion of young males in the population has a significant positive effect on crime.

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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by Southern Economic Association in its journal Southern Economic Journal.

Volume (Year): 65 (1999)
Issue (Month): 4 (April)
Pages: 717-738

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Handle: RePEc:sej:ancoec:v:65:4:y:1999:p:717-738

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Cited by:
  1. Ajilore, Olugbenga & Smith, John, 2010. "Ethnic fragmentation and police spending," MPRA Paper 19967, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  2. Ambrose Leung, 2003. "Delinquency, schooling, and work: time allocation decision of youth," Applied Economics Letters, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 10(15), pages 943-949.
  3. John Gibson & Bonggeun Kim, 2006. "Measurement Error and the Effect of Inequality on Experienced versus Reported Crime," Working Papers in Economics 06/05, University of Waikato, Department of Economics.
  4. Matthew Baker & Niklas J. Westelius, 2009. "Crime, Expectations and The Deterrence Hypothesis," Economics Working Paper Archive at Hunter College 425, Hunter College Department of Economics.
  5. Jennifer M. Mellor & Jeffrey Milyo, 1999. "Re-Examining the Evidence of an Ecological Association between Income Inequality and Health," Discussion Papers Series, Department of Economics, Tufts University 9922, Department of Economics, Tufts University.
  6. Syed Yasir Mahmood Gillani & Rana Ejaz Ali Khan & Abid Rashid Gill, 2011. "Unemployment and Property Crimes in Pakistan," Asian Economic and Financial Review, Asian Economic and Social Society, vol. 1(3), pages 124-133, September.
  7. Mustard, David B., 2010. "How Do Labor Markets Affect Crime? New Evidence on an Old Puzzle," IZA Discussion Papers 4856, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  8. Justina A.V. Fischer & Antonio Rodríguez Andrés, 2005. "Is Software Piracy a Middle Class Crime? Investigating the inequality-piracy channel," University of St. Gallen Department of Economics working paper series 2005 2005-18, Department of Economics, University of St. Gallen.
  9. Mark W. Frank, 2008. "A New State-Level Panel of Annual Inequality Measures Over the Period 1916 – 2005," Working Papers 0802, Sam Houston State University, Department of Economics and International Business.
  10. Almén, Daniel & Nordin, Martin, 2011. "Long term unemployment and violent crimes - using post-2000 data to reinvestigate the relationship between unemployment and crime," Working Papers 2011:34, Lund University, Department of Economics.
  11. Zimmerman, Paul R. & Benson, Bruce L., 2007. "Alcohol and rape: An "economics-of-crime" perspective," International Review of Law and Economics, Elsevier, vol. 27(4), pages 442-473, December.
  12. Mehanna, Rock-Antoine, 2004. "Poverty and economic development: not as direct as it may seem," Journal of Behavioral and Experimental Economics (formerly The Journal of Socio-Economics), Elsevier, vol. 33(2), pages 217-228, April.
  13. Wilhite, Allen & Allen, W. David, 2008. "Crime, protection, and incarceration," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 67(2), pages 481-494, August.
  14. Siddhartha Bandyopadhyay & Samrat Bhattacharya & Rudra Sensarma, 2011. "An Analysis of the Factors Determining Crime in England and Wales: A Quantile Regression Approach," Discussion Papers 11-12, Department of Economics, University of Birmingham.
  15. Edmark, Karin, 2003. "The Effects of Unemployment on Property Crime: Evidence from a Period of Unusually Large Swings in the Business Cycle," Working Paper Series 2003:14, Uppsala University, Department of Economics.
  16. Justina A.V. Fischer, 2005. "The Impact of Direct Democracy on Crime: Is the Median Voter Boundedly Rational?," University of St. Gallen Department of Economics working paper series 2005 2005-14, Department of Economics, University of St. Gallen.

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