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Crime and European labour market policy

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  • Ochsen, Carsten
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    Abstract

    In this paper we investigate the effects of labour market policy on several types of criminal offences for fifteen European countries. The main results are the following: Firstly, the results change markedly if we control for unobserved heterogeneity. In the context of criminal offences the estimates seem to be reliable only if we apply fixed effects instead of simple pool specifications. Secondly, the effects of labour market policy vary considerably with respect to the different types of criminal offences and cannot be subdivided into unambiguous effects on property crimes and violent crimes, respectively. Thirdly, the proxy variables for labour market policy we consider have different importance with respect to their effect on criminal offences. Benefit replacement rate, benefit duration, and average years of schooling seem to be important, whereas active labour market policy appears not to be linked to crime. The combination of a shorter benefit duration and higher replacement rate, like in the Nordic countries, seems to be a 'crime reducing' combination. --

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    Bibliographic Info

    Paper provided by University of Rostock, Institute of Economics in its series Thuenen-Series of Applied Economic Theory with number 55.

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    Date of creation: 2005
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    Handle: RePEc:zbw:roswps:55

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    Keywords: Unemployment; labour market policy; illegal behaviour; time allocation;

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    1. Michèle Belot & Jan C. van Ours, 2004. "Does the recent success of some OECD countries in lowering their unemployment rates lie in the clever design of their labor market reforms?," Oxford Economic Papers, Oxford University Press, vol. 56(4), pages 621-642, October.
    2. Lechner, Michael & Miquel, Ruth & Wunsch, Conny, 2005. "Long run Effects of Public Sector Sponsored Training in West Germany," CEPR Discussion Papers 4851, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    3. 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.
    4. Entorf, Horst & Spengler, Hannes, 1998. "Socio-economic and demographic factors of crime in Germany: evidence from panel data of the German states," ZEW Discussion Papers 98-16, ZEW - Zentrum für Europäische Wirtschaftsforschung / Center for European Economic Research.
    5. Lars Osberg & Andrew Sharpe, 2003. "An Index of Labour Market Well-being for OECD Countries," CSLS Research Reports 2003-05, Centre for the Study of Living Standards, revised Jan 2004.
    6. Steven D. Levitt, 1995. "The Effect of Prison Population Size on Crime Rates: Evidence From Prison Overcrowding Litigation," NBER Working Papers 5119, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    7. Andrew Glyn, 2003. "Labor Market Institutions and Unemployment: A Critical Assessment of the Cross-Country Evidence," Economics Series Working Papers 168, University of Oxford, Department of Economics.
    8. Gary S. Becker, 1968. "Crime and Punishment: An Economic Approach," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 76, pages 169.
    9. Raphael, Steven & WINTER-EBMER, RUDOLF, 1998. "Identifying the Effect of Unemployment on Crime," University of California at San Diego, Economics Working Paper Series qt5hb4h56g, Department of Economics, UC San Diego.
    10. Olivier Blanchard & Justin Wolfers, 1999. "The Role of Shocks and Institutions in the Rise of European Unemployment: The Aggregate Evidence," NBER Working Papers 7282, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    11. Carmichael, Fiona & Ward, Robert, 2001. "Male unemployment and crime in England and Wales," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 73(1), pages 111-115, October.
    12. Freeman, Richard B., 1999. "The economics of crime," Handbook of Labor Economics, in: O. Ashenfelter & D. Card (ed.), Handbook of Labor Economics, edition 1, volume 3, chapter 52, pages 3529-3571 Elsevier.
    13. Steven D. Levitt, 1997. "Juvenile Crime and Punishment," NBER Working Papers 6191, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    14. Bruce Weinberg & Eric Gould & David Mustard, 1998. "Crime Rates and Local Labor Market Opportunities in the United States: 1979-1995," Working Papers 98-11, Ohio State University, Department of Economics.
    15. Steven D. Levitt, 1995. "Using Electoral Cycles in Police Hiring to Estimate the Effect of Policeon Crime," NBER Working Papers 4991, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    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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