Crime, Job Searches, and Economic Growth
This paper constructs a theoretical model with which to analyze the puzzling links between unemployment and crime rates, described in the literature. Most theoretical papers on crime, such as Becker Journal of Political Economy 76, 169–217, ( 1968 ), Ehrlich Journal of Political Economy 81, 521–565, ( 1973 ), and İmrohoroğlu et al. International Economic Review 41, 1–25, ( 2000 ), emphasize the analysis of the equilibrium crime rate, dealing with the unemployment rate as an exogenous parameter, but little attention has been devoted to investigating the influence of the criminal market on the equilibrium unemployment rate in the labor market and how these markets interact. This paper illustrates how the causes of crime play a crucial role in the unemployment-crime relationship, wherein different causality result in different associative relationships between unemployment and crime. The aforementioned conclusion illustrates the theory explaining why the empirical findings related to the unemployment-crime relationship are mixed and equivocal. Second, this paper describes the diverse origins of crime, in which employed workers and unemployed workers have different incentives for entering a life of crime. Employed and unemployed workers assume different opportunity costs by engaging in criminal activities, resulting in different effects on the economy. This explains why crime rates relative to unemployment rates in different countries could be either procyclical or countercyclical. Copyright International Atlantic Economic Society 2012
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Volume (Year): 40 (2012)
Issue (Month): 1 (March)
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