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Unemployment and Crime: Is There a Connection?

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  • Karin Edmark

Abstract

A panel of Swedish counties over the years 1988-1999 is used to study the effects of unemployment on property crime rates. The period under study is characterized by turbulence in the labor market-the variation in unemployment rates was unprecedented in the latter part of the century. Hence, the data provide a unique opportunity to examine unemployment effects. According to the theory of economics of crime, increased unemployment rates lead to higher property crime rates. A fixed-effects model is estimated to investigate this hypothesis. The model includes time- and county-specific effects and a number of economic and socio-demographic variables to control for unobservables and covariates. The results show that unemployment had a positive and significant effect on some property crimes (burglary, car theft and bike theft). Copyright The editors of the "Scandinavian Journal of Economics", 2005 .

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  • Karin Edmark, 2005. "Unemployment and Crime: Is There a Connection?," Scandinavian Journal of Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 107(2), pages 353-373, June.
  • Handle: RePEc:bla:scandj:v:107:y:2005:i:2:p:353-373
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    8. Helpman, Elhanan, 1981. "An Exploration in the Theory of Exchange-Rate Regimes," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 89(5), pages 865-890, October.
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