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The impact of social capital on crime: Evidence from the Netherlands

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  • Akçomak, İ. Semih
  • ter Weel, Bas

Abstract

This research shows that social capital is important in explaining why crime is so heterogeneous across space. Social capital is considered as a latent construct composed of a variety of indicators, such as blood donations, voter turnout, voluntary contributions to community well-being, and trust. To isolate exogenous variation in social capital, three historical variables are used as instruments: the fraction of foreigners, the number of schools and the fraction of Protestants in 1859. The historical information provides heterogeneity across municipalities in these three variables. In an application to Dutch municipalities the 2SLS estimates suggest that the exogenous component of social capital is significantly and negatively correlated with current crime rates, after controlling for a range of contemporaneous socio-economic indicators. Next, the robustness analysis shows why some social capital indicators are more useful than others in applied economic research.

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  • Akçomak, İ. Semih & ter Weel, Bas, 2012. "The impact of social capital on crime: Evidence from the Netherlands," Regional Science and Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 42(1-2), pages 323-340.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:regeco:v:42:y:2012:i:1:p:323-340
    DOI: 10.1016/j.regsciurbeco.2011.09.008
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    8. Shimada, Go, 2014. "A Quantitative Study of Social Capital in the Tertiary Sector of Kobe : Has Social Capital Promoted Economic Reconstruction Since the Great Hanshin Awaji Earthquake?," Working Papers 68, JICA Research Institute.
    9. İ. Semih Akçomak & Hanna Müller-Zick, 2018. "Trust and inventive activity in Europe: causal, spatial and nonlinear forces," The Annals of Regional Science, Springer;Western Regional Science Association, vol. 60(3), pages 529-568, May.
    10. Jorge Garcia Hombrados, 2018. "Empirical essays on development economics," Economics PhD Theses 0318, Department of Economics, University of Sussex Business School.
    11. Rosetta Lombardo & Marianna Falcone, 2011. "Crime And Economic Performance. A Cluster Analysis Of Panel Data On Italy'S Nuts 3 Regions," Working Papers 201112, Università della Calabria, Dipartimento di Economia, Statistica e Finanza "Giovanni Anania" - DESF.
    12. Akcomak, Semih, 2009. "Bridges in social capital: A review of the definitions and the social capital of social capital researchers," MERIT Working Papers 2009-002, United Nations University - Maastricht Economic and Social Research Institute on Innovation and Technology (MERIT).
    13. Ylenia Brilli & Marco Tonello, 2015. "The contemporaneous effect of education on adolescent crime. Mechanisms and evidence from regional divides," CHILD Working Papers Series 41 JEL Classification: I2, Centre for Household, Income, Labour and Demographic Economics (CHILD) - CCA.
    14. Ylenia Brilli & Marco Tonello, 2015. "Rethinking the crime reducing effect of education? Mechanisms and evidence from regional divides," Temi di discussione (Economic working papers) 1008, Bank of Italy, Economic Research and International Relations Area.
    15. Nico van Leeuwen & Arjan Lejour, 2006. "Bilateral FDI Stocks by sector," CPB Memorandum 164.rdf, CPB Netherlands Bureau for Economic Policy Analysis.
    16. Luigi M. Solivetti, 2018. "Immigration, socio-economic conditions and crime: a cross-sectional versus cross-sectional time-series perspective," Quality & Quantity: International Journal of Methodology, Springer, vol. 52(4), pages 1779-1805, July.
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    18. Riyanto, Yohanes E. & Jonathan, Yeo X.W., 2018. "Directed trust and trustworthiness in a social network: An experimental investigation," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 151(C), pages 234-253.
    19. García Hombrados, Jorge, 2020. "The lasting effects of natural disasters on property crime: Evidence from the 2010 Chilean earthquake," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 175(C), pages 114-154.
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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Social capital; Crime; The Netherlands;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • A13 - General Economics and Teaching - - General Economics - - - Relation of Economics to Social Values
    • A14 - General Economics and Teaching - - General Economics - - - Sociology of Economics
    • K42 - Law and Economics - - Legal Procedure, the Legal System, and Illegal Behavior - - - Illegal Behavior and the Enforcement of Law
    • Z13 - Other Special Topics - - Cultural Economics - - - Economic Sociology; Economic Anthropology; Language; Social and Economic Stratification

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