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Stealing to Survive : Crime and Income Shocks in 19th Century France

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Author Info

  • Galbiati, Roberto
  • Caroli, Eve
  • Bignon, Vincent

Abstract

Using department level administrative data from 1826 to 1936 we document the evolution of crime rates in 19th century France and we estimate the impact of a negative income shock on crime. Our identification strategy exploits the phylloxera crisis. Between 1863 and 1890, phylloxera destroyed about 40% of French vineyards. Using the departmental variation in the timing of this shock we instrument wine production and we identify the effects of the shock on property and violent crime rates. Our estimates suggest that the phylloxera crisis did not significantly impact on violent crimes but caused a strong increase in property crimes. A back-of-the-envelope calculation suggests that the phylloxera crisis caused an increase in property crime rates of about ten percent.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Paris Dauphine University in its series Economics Papers from University Paris Dauphine with number 123456789/7249.

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Date of creation: Sep 2011
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Publication status: Published in PSE Working Papers, 2011
Handle: RePEc:dau:papers:123456789/7249

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Keywords: Crime; income shock; phylloxera; 19th century France;

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References

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  1. Raphael, Steven & Winter-Ebmer, Rudolf, 1999. "Identifying the Effect of Unemployment on Crime," CEPR Discussion Papers 2129, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  2. Mehlum, Halvor & Miguel, Edward & Torvik, Ragnar, 2006. "Poverty and crime in 19th century Germany," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 59(3), pages 370-388, May.
  3. Eric D. Gould & Bruce A. Weinberg & David B. Mustard, 2002. "Crime Rates And Local Labor Market Opportunities In The United States: 1979-1997," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 84(1), pages 45-61, February.
  4. Andrea Ichino & Michele Polo & Enrico Rettore, . "Are Judges Biased by Labor Market Conditions?," Working Papers 192, IGIER (Innocenzo Gasparini Institute for Economic Research), Bocconi University.
  5. Denis Fougère & Francis Kramarz & Julien Pouget, 2007. "Youth Unemployment and Crime in France," Working Papers 2007-33, Centre de Recherche en Economie et Statistique.
  6. Fajnzylber, Pablo & Lederman, Daniel & Loayza, Norman, 2002. "What causes violent crime?," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 46(7), pages 1323-1357, July.
  7. H. Naci Mocan & Turan G. Bali, 2005. "Asymmetric Crime Cycles," NBER Working Papers 11210, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  8. Jean-Michel Chevet & Sebastien Lecocq & Michael Visser, 2011. "Climate, Grapevine Phenology, Wine Production, and Prices: Pauillac (1800-2009)," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 101(3), pages 142-46, May.
  9. Soares, Rodrigo R., 2004. "Development, crime and punishment: accounting for the international differences in crime rates," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 73(1), pages 155-184, February.
  10. Anna Öster & Jonas Agell, 2007. "Crime and Unemployment in Turbulent Times," Journal of the European Economic Association, MIT Press, vol. 5(4), pages 752-775, 06.
  11. François Bourguignon & Jairo Nuñez & Fabio Sanchez, 2003. "A Structural Model of Crime and Inequality in Colombia," Journal of the European Economic Association, MIT Press, vol. 1(2-3), pages 440-449, 04/05.
  12. Christian Traxler & Carsten Burhop, 2010. "Poverty and crime in 19th century Germany: A reassessment," Working Paper Series of the Max Planck Institute for Research on Collective Goods 2010_35, Max Planck Institute for Research on Collective Goods.
  13. Abhijit Banerjee & Esther Duflo & Gilles Postel-Vinay & Timothy M. Watts, 2007. "Long Run Health Impacts of Income Shocks: Wine and Phylloxera in 19th Century France," NBER Working Papers 12895, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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Cited by:
  1. Guido de Blasio & Carlo Menon, 2013. "Down and out in Italian towns: measuring the impact of economic downturns on crime," Temi di discussione (Economic working papers) 925, Bank of Italy, Economic Research and International Relations Area.

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