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An On-The-Job Search Model Of Crime, Inequality, And Unemployment

  • Kenneth Burdett
  • Ricardo Lagos
  • Randall Wright

We extend simple search models of crime, unemployment, and inequality to incorporate on-the-job search. This is valuable because, although simple models are useful, on-the-job search models are more interesting theoretically and more relevant empirically. We characterize the wage distribution, unemployment rate, and crime rate theoretically, and use quantitative methods to illustrate key results. For example, we find that increasing the unemployment insurance replacement rate from 53 to 65 percent increases unemployment and crime rates from 10 and 2.7 percent to 14 and 5.2 percent. We show multiple equilibria arise for some fairly reasonable parameters; in one case, unemployment can be 6 or 23 percent, and crime 0 or 10 percent, depending on the equilibrium. Copyright 2004 by the Economics Department Of The University Of Pennsylvania And Osaka University Institute Of Social And Economic Research Association.

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Article provided by Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association in its journal International Economic Review.

Volume (Year): 45 (2004)
Issue (Month): 3 (08)
Pages: 681-706

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Handle: RePEc:ier:iecrev:v:45:y:2004:i:3:p:681-706
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  1. Jeff Grogger, 1997. "Market Wages and Youth Crime," NBER Working Papers 5983, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  2. Kenneth Burdett & Ricardo Lagos & Randall Wright, 2002. "Crime, Inequality, and Unemployment, Second Version," PIER Working Paper Archive 03-029, Penn Institute for Economic Research, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania, revised 01 Sep 2003.
  3. Sah, R.K., 1990. "Social Osmosis And Patterns Of Crime: A Dynamic Economic Analysis," Papers 609, Yale - Economic Growth Center.
  4. Fender, John, 1999. "A general equilibrium model of crime and punishment," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 39(4), pages 437-453, July.
  5. Albrecht, James & Axell, Bo, 1983. "An Equilibrium Model of Search Unemployment," Working Papers 83-10, C.V. Starr Center for Applied Economics, New York University.
  6. Edward E. Glaeser & Bruce Sacerdote & Jose A. Scheinkman, 1995. "Crime and Social Interactions," Harvard Institute of Economic Research Working Papers 1738, Harvard - Institute of Economic Research.
  7. 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.
  8. Imrohoroglu, Ayse & Merlo, Antonio & Rupert, Peter, 1996. "On the political economy of income redistribution and crime," Bulletins 7497, University of Minnesota, Economic Development Center.
  9. Diamond, Peter A., 1971. "A model of price adjustment," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 3(2), pages 156-168, June.
  10. Alexander Tabarrok, 1997. "A simple model of crime waves, riots, and revolutions," Atlantic Economic Journal, International Atlantic Economic Society, vol. 25(3), pages 274-288, September.
  11. Burdett, Kenneth & Mortensen, Dale T, 1998. "Wage Differentials, Employer Size, and Unemployment," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 39(2), pages 257-73, May.
  12. Mortensen, Dale T. & Pissarides, Christopher A., 1999. "New developments in models of search in the labor market," Handbook of Labor Economics, in: O. Ashenfelter & D. Card (ed.), Handbook of Labor Economics, edition 1, volume 3, chapter 39, pages 2567-2627 Elsevier.
  13. Mortensen, Dale T., 1987. "Job search and labor market analysis," Handbook of Labor Economics, in: O. Ashenfelter & R. Layard (ed.), Handbook of Labor Economics, edition 1, volume 2, chapter 15, pages 849-919 Elsevier.
  14. Melvyn G. Coles, 2001. "Equilibrium Wage Dispersion, Firm Size and Growth," Review of Economic Dynamics, Elsevier for the Society for Economic Dynamics, vol. 4(1), pages 159-187, January.
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