Unemployment and Right-Wing Extremist Crime
AbstractRight-wing extremism is a serious problem in many societies. A prominent hypothesis states that unemployment plays a crucial role for the occurrence of right-wing extremist crime. In this paper we empirically test this hypothesis. We use a previously not used data set which includes all officially recorded right-wing criminal acts in Germany. These data are recorded by the German Federal Criminal Police Office on a monthly and state level basis. Our main finding is that there is in fact a significant positive relation between unemployment and right-wing criminal activities. We show further that the big difference in right-wing crime between East and West German states can mostly be attributed to differences in unemployment. This finding reinforces the importance of unemployment as an explanatory factor for right-wing crime and questions explanations based solely on the different socialization in former communist East Germany and the liberal West German states. Our data further allow us to separate violent from non-violent right-wing crimes. We show that unemployment is closely related to both types of crimes, but that the association with non-violent crimes is much stronger. Since right-wing crime is committed particularly by relatively young males, we also explore whether the youth unemployment rate is a better predictor for right-wing crime than total unemployment. This hypothesis can be rejected: given total unemployment, a higher share of youth unemployment does not affect right-wing extremist crime rates.
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Bibliographic InfoPaper provided by Institute for Empirical Research in Economics - University of Zurich in its series IEW - Working Papers with number 235.
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Hate crime; right-wing extremism; unemployment; cost of unemployment;
Other versions of this item:
- Falk, Armin & Kuhn, Andreas & Zweimüller, Josef, 2009. "Unemployment and Right-wing Extremist Crime," CEPR Discussion Papers 7467, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
- Falk, Armin & Zweimüller, Josef, 2005. "Unemployment and Right-Wing Extremist Crime," IZA Discussion Papers 1540, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
- Armin Falk & Andreas Kuhn & Josef Zweimüller, 2009. "Unemployment and Right-wing Extremist Crime," NRN working papers 2009-16, The Austrian Center for Labor Economics and the Analysis of the Welfare State, Johannes Kepler University Linz, Austria.
- Falk, Armin & Zweimüller, Josef, 2005. "Unemployment and Right-Wing Extremist Crime," CEPR Discussion Papers 4997, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
- J15 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Economics of Minorities, Races, Indigenous Peoples, and Immigrants; Non-labor Discrimination
- J69 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Mobility, Unemployment, Vacancies, and Immigrant Workers - - - Other
- K42 - Law and Economics - - Legal Procedure, the Legal System, and Illegal Behavior - - - Illegal Behavior and the Enforcement of Law
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