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

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  • Semih Akcomak

    ()

  • Bas ter Weel

    ()

Abstract

This research shows that social capital is important in explaining why crime is so heterogeneous across Dutch municipalities. 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 the others in applied economic research.

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Paper provided by CPB Netherlands Bureau for Economic Policy Analysis in its series CPB Discussion Paper with number 136.

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Date of creation: Dec 2009
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Handle: RePEc:cpb:discus:136

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Cited by:
  1. Akçomak, I. Semih & ter Weel, Bas, 2008. "The Impact of Social Capital on Crime: Evidence from the Netherlands," IZA Discussion Papers 3603, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  2. 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).
  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, Elsevier, vol. 47(C), pages 73-81.
  4. Rosetta Lombardo & Marianna Falcone, 2011. "Crime And Economic Performance. A Cluster Analysis Of Panel Data On Italy'S Nuts 3 Regions," Working Papers, Università della Calabria, Dipartimento di Economia, Statistica e Finanza (Ex Dipartimento di Economia e Statistica) 201112, Università della Calabria, Dipartimento di Economia, Statistica e Finanza (Ex Dipartimento di Economia e Statistica).

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