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Welfare Payments and Crime

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  • C. Fritz Foley

    (Harvard Business School and NBER)

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    Abstract

    Analysis of daily reported incidents of major crimes in twelve U.S. cities reveals an increase in crime over the course of monthly welfare payment cycles. This increase reflects an increase in crimes that are likely to have a direct financial motivation as opposed to other kinds of crime. Temporal patterns in crime are observed in jurisdictions in which disbursements are focused at the beginning of monthly welfare payment cycles and not in jurisdictions in which disbursements are relatively more staggered. These findings indicate that welfare beneficiaries consume welfare-related income quickly and then attempt to supplement it with criminal income. © 2011 The President and Fellows of Harvard College and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

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    File URL: http://www.mitpressjournals.org/doi/pdf/10.1162/REST_a_00068
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    Bibliographic Info

    Article provided by MIT Press in its journal The Review of Economics and Statistics.

    Volume (Year): 93 (2011)
    Issue (Month): 1 (February)
    Pages: 97-112

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    Handle: RePEc:tpr:restat:v:93:y:2011:i:1:p:97-112

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    Web page: http://mitpress.mit.edu/journals/

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    Web: http://mitpress.mit.edu/journal-home.tcl?issn=00346535

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    Cited by:
    1. Parsons, Christopher A. & Van Wesep, Edward D., 2013. "The timing of pay," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 109(2), pages 373-397.
    2. Damon, Amy L. & King, Robert P. & Leibtag, Ephraim, 2013. "First of the month effect: Does it apply across food retail channels?," Food Policy, Elsevier, vol. 41(C), pages 18-27.
    3. Florian Baumann & Tim Friehe, 2013. "Status Concerns as a Motive for Crime?," CESifo Working Paper Series 4225, CESifo Group Munich.
    4. Richard Wright & Erdal Tekin & Volkan Topalli & Chandler McClellan & Timothy Dickinson & Richard Rosenfeld, 2014. "Less Cash, Less Crime: Evidence from the Electronic Benefit Transfer Program," NBER Working Papers 19996, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.

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