Advanced Search
MyIDEAS: Login

How Do Labor Markets Affect Crime? New Evidence on an Old Puzzle

Contents:

Author Info

  • Mustard, David B.

    ()
    (University of Georgia)

Abstract

For nearly 50 years academics have been studying how labor markets affect crime. The initial interesting and important theoretical and empirical work generated substantial interest in studying crime among economists, in particular, and scholars in the social sciences more broadly. This literature, which is decades old and contains hundreds of papers, is characterized by an intriguing puzzle – the large gap between the theory and empirical work. While the hypothesis that growing labor markets reduce crime seems obvious and is widely accepted by many policy makers and academics, empirical results fail to show consistent evidence in support of this theory. The primary contribution of this chapter is to document how recent research – primarily since the late 1990s – makes substantial progress in resolving this disconnect between the theory and empirics. To accomplish this goal, I discuss a few very important empirical problems that until the last 10 years have not been systematically addressed. The central conclusion of this chapter is that recent research that addresses these important questions consistently provides evidence to buttress the contention that labor market opportunities have important effects on crime, especially property crime.

Download Info

If you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.
File URL: http://ftp.iza.org/dp4856.pdf
Download Restriction: no

Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA) in its series IZA Discussion Papers with number 4856.

as in new window
Length: 37 pages
Date of creation: Mar 2010
Date of revision:
Publication status: published in: Handbook on the Economics of Crime, Edward Elgar Publishing, 2010
Handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp4856

Contact details of provider:
Postal: IZA, P.O. Box 7240, D-53072 Bonn, Germany
Phone: +49 228 3894 223
Fax: +49 228 3894 180
Web page: http://www.iza.org

Order Information:
Postal: IZA, Margard Ody, P.O. Box 7240, D-53072 Bonn, Germany
Email:

Related research

Keywords: crime; labor markets; unemployment; wages;

Find related papers by JEL classification:

References

References listed on IDEAS
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:
as in new window
  1. Stephen Machin & Costas Meghir, 2004. "Crime and Economic Incentives," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 39(4).
  2. Topel, Robert H, 1994. "Regional Labor Markets and the Determinants of Wage Inequality," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 84(2), pages 17-22, May.
  3. Edward L. Glaeser & Bruce Sacerdote & Jose A. Scheinkman, 1995. "Crime and Social Interactions," NBER Working Papers 5026, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  4. Stephen Machin & Olivier Marie, 2004. "Crime and Benefit Sanctions," CEP Discussion Papers dp0645, Centre for Economic Performance, LSE.
  5. Richard B. Freeman, 1996. "Why Do So Many Young American Men Commit Crimes and What Might We Do About It?," NBER Working Papers 5451, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  6. Hope Corman & Naci Mocan, 2002. "Carrots, Sticks and Broken Windows," NBER Working Papers 9061, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  7. Lance Lochner & Enrico Moretti, 2004. "The Effect of Education on Crime: Evidence from Prison Inmates, Arrests, and Self-Reports," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 94(1), pages 155-189, March.
  8. 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.
  9. Edward L. Glaeser & Bruce Sacerdote, 1999. "Why Is There More Crime in Cities?," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 107(S6), pages S225-S258, December.
  10. Denis Fougère & Francis Kramarz & Julien Pouget, 2009. "Youth Unemployment and Crime in France," Journal of the European Economic Association, MIT Press, vol. 7(5), pages 909-938, 09.
  11. Kenneth Burdett & Ricardo Lagos & Randall Wright, 2003. "Crime, Inequality, and Unemployment," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 93(5), pages 1764-1777, December.
  12. Ian Ayres & Steven D. Levitt, 1998. "Measuring Positive Externalities From Unobservable Victim Precaution: An Empirical Analysis Of Lojack," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 113(1), pages 43-77, February.
  13. Fleisher, Belton M, 1970. "The Effect of Income on Delinquency: Reply," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 60(1), pages 257, March.
  14. Zvi Griliches & Jerry A. Hausman, 1984. "Errors in Variables in Panel Data," NBER Technical Working Papers 0037, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  15. Chien-Chieh Huang & Derek Laing & Ping Wang, 2004. "Crime And Poverty: A Search-Theoretic Approach," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 45(3), pages 909-938, 08.
  16. Lance Lochner, 2004. "Education, Work, and Crime: A Human Capital Approach," NBER Working Papers 10478, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  17. Steven D. Levitt, 1995. "Why Do Increased Arrest Rates Appear to Reduce Crime: Deterrence, Incapacitation, or Measurement Error?," NBER Working Papers 5268, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  18. Julie Berry Cullen & Steven D. Levitt, 1996. "Crime, Urban Flight, and the Consequences for Cities," NBER Working Papers 5737, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  19. Lott, John R, Jr & Mustard, David B, 1997. "Crime, Deterrence, and Right-to-Carry Concealed Handguns," The Journal of Legal Studies, University of Chicago Press, vol. 26(1), pages 1-68, January.
  20. Cornwell, Christopher & Trumbull, William N, 1994. "Estimating the Economic Model of Crime with Panel Data," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 76(2), pages 360-66, May.
  21. Paresh Kumar Narayan & Russell Smyth, 2004. "Crime rates, male youth unemployment and real income in Australia: evidence from Granger causality tests," Applied Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 36(18), pages 2079-2095.
  22. Belton M. Fleisher, 1963. "The Effect of Unemployment on Juvenile Delinquency," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 71, pages 543.
  23. 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.
  24. Karin Edmark, 2005. "Unemployment and Crime: Is There a Connection?," Scandinavian Journal of Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 107(2), pages 353-373, 06.
  25. Steven D. Levitt, 2004. "Understanding Why Crime Fell in the 1990s: Four Factors that Explain the Decline and Six that Do Not," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 18(1), pages 163-190, Winter.
  26. Richard B. Freeman & William M. Rodgers III, 1999. "Area Economic Conditions and the Labor Market Outcomes of Young Men in the 1990s Expansion," NBER Working Papers 7073, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  27. Kerry Papps & Rainer Winkelmann, 2000. "Unemployment and crime: New evidence for an old question," New Zealand Economic Papers, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 34(1), pages 53-71.
  28. Roback, Jennifer, 1982. "Wages, Rents, and the Quality of Life," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 90(6), pages 1257-78, December.
  29. Jeff Grogger, 1997. "Market Wages and Youth Crime," NBER Working Papers 5983, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  30. Grogger, Jeffrey, 1995. "The Effect of Arrests on the Employment and Earnings of Young Men," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 110(1), pages 51-71, February.
  31. Joanne M. Doyle & Ehsan Ahmed & Robert N. Horn, 1999. "The Effects of Labor Markets and Income Inequality on Crime: Evidence from Panel Data," Southern Economic Journal, Southern Economic Association, vol. 65(4), pages 717-738, April.
  32. Raphael, Steven & Winter-Ember, Rudolf, 2001. "Identifying the Effect of Unemployment on Crime," Journal of Law and Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 44(1), pages 259-83, April.
  33. 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.
  34. Benson, Bruce L & Mast, Brent D, 2001. "Privately Produced General Deterrence," Journal of Law and Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 44(2), pages 725-46, October.
  35. Keith R. Ihlanfeldt, 2007. "Neighborhood Drug Crime and Young Males' Job Accessibility," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 89(1), pages 151-164, February.
  36. Kirstine Hansen & Stephen Machin, 2002. "Spatial Crime Patterns and the Introduction of the UK Minimum Wage," Oxford Bulletin of Economics and Statistics, Department of Economics, University of Oxford, vol. 64(s1), pages 677-697, 08.
  37. Ming-Jen Lin, 2008. "Does Unemployment Increase Crime?: Evidence from U.S. Data 1974–2000," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 43(2), pages 413-436.
Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

Citations

Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.
as in new window

Cited by:
  1. Carlo Menon & Guido de Blasio, 2013. "Down and Out in Italian Towns: Measuring the Impact of Economic Downturns on Crime," SERC Discussion Papers secdp0137, Spatial Economics Research Centre, LSE.
  2. 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.
  3. Qadri, Faisal Sultan & Kadri, Adeel Sultan, 2010. "Relationship between education, health and crime: fable, fallacy or fact," MPRA Paper 30638, University Library of Munich, Germany.

Lists

This item is not listed on Wikipedia, on a reading list or among the top items on IDEAS.

Statistics

Access and download statistics

Corrections

When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp4856. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Mark Fallak).

If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.

If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link to it, you can help with this form.

If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.