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The Local Determinants of Victimization

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  • Camille Hémet

    ()
    (Department of Economics, Sciences Po - Sciences Po, AMSE - Aix-Marseille School of Economics - Aix-Marseille Univ. - Centre national de la recherche scientifique (CNRS) - École des Hautes Études en Sciences Sociales [EHESS] - Ecole Centrale Marseille (ECM))

Abstract

This paper explores the determinants of victimization at the neighborhood level, using data from the French victimization survey. Its contribution to the economics of crime literature is threefold. First, I provide evidence that neighborhood characteristics explain victimization better than individual characteristics. Second, I find that local unemployment rate is one of the most important factor explaining victimization, with a particularly large effect on small crimes such as motorbike theft or vandalism. I then tackle the endogenous location selection issue, by adopting the strategy developed by Bayer et al. (2008), based on the fact that the study is conducted at a very low geographic level. Third, I take advantage of the precise localization of the data to adopt a spatial approach, comparing the effect of unemployment rate in the reference neighborhood and in adjacent neighborhoods. The results support the idea that criminals are mobile across neighborhoods for more serious economic crimes, in line with the Beckerian theory of crime, but that petty crimes and vandalism do not involve any mobility, relating to the social disorganization theory.

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Paper provided by HAL in its series Working Papers with number halshs-00873530.

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Date of creation: Oct 2013
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Handle: RePEc:hal:wpaper:halshs-00873530

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Keywords: victimization; neighborhood effects; unemployment; geography;

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  1. Evans, William N & Oates, Wallace E & Schwab, Robert M, 1992. "Measuring Peer Group Effects: A Study of Teenage Behavior," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 100(5), pages 966-91, October.
  2. Glaeser, Edward L & Sacerdote, Bruce & Scheinkman, Jose A, 1996. "Crime and Social Interactions," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 111(2), pages 507-48, May.
  3. Hanson, G.H., 1999. "`Market Potential, Increasing Returns, and Geographic Concentration," Working Papers 439, Research Seminar in International Economics, University of Michigan.
  4. Milo Bianchi & Paolo Buonanno & Paolo Pinotti, 2008. "Do Immigrants Cause Crime?," Working Papers 0801, University of Bergamo, Department of Economics.
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  6. Giorgio Topa & Stephen Ross & Patrick Bayer, 2005. "Place of Work and Place of Residence: Informal Hiring Networks and Labor Market Outcomes," Working Papers 05-23, Center for Economic Studies, U.S. Census Bureau.
  7. Paolo Buonanno & Daniel Montolio & Paolo Vanin, 2006. "Does Social Capital Reduce Crime?," "Marco Fanno" Working Papers 0029, Dipartimento di Scienze Economiche "Marco Fanno".
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  9. Calvo-Armengol, Antoni & Verdier, Thierry & Zenou, Yves, 2007. "Strong and weak ties in employment and crime," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 91(1-2), pages 203-233, February.
  10. Brian Bell & Francesco Fasani & Stephen Machin, 2013. "Crime and Immigration: Evidence from Large Immigrant Waves," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 95(4), pages 1278-1290, October.
  11. Morgan Kelly, 2000. "Inequality And Crime," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 82(4), pages 530-539, November.
  12. Gary S. Becker, 1968. "Crime and Punishment: An Economic Approach," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 76, pages 169.
  13. Stephen Machin & Costas Meghir, 2004. "Crime and Economic Incentives," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 39(4).
  14. Spenkuch, Jörg L., 2010. "Understanding the Impact of Immigration on Crime," MPRA Paper 22864, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  15. Jens Ludwig & Greg J. Duncan & Paul Hirschfield, 2001. "Urban Poverty And Juvenile Crime: Evidence From A Randomized Housing-Mobility Experiment," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 116(2), pages 655-679, May.
  16. Ehrlich, Isaac, 1973. "Participation in Illegitimate Activities: A Theoretical and Empirical Investigation," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 81(3), pages 521-65, May-June.
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