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Welfare Payments and Crime

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  • C. Fritz Foley

    (Harvard Business School and NBER)

Abstract

Analysis of daily reported incidents of major crimes in twelve U.S. cities reveals an increase in crime over the course of monthly welfare payment cycles. This increase reflects an increase in crimes that are likely to have a direct financial motivation as opposed to other kinds of crime. Temporal patterns in crime are observed in jurisdictions in which disbursements are focused at the beginning of monthly welfare payment cycles and not in jurisdictions in which disbursements are relatively more staggered. These findings indicate that welfare beneficiaries consume welfare-related income quickly and then attempt to supplement it with criminal income. © 2011 The President and Fellows of Harvard College and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

Suggested Citation

  • C. Fritz Foley, 2011. "Welfare Payments and Crime," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 93(1), pages 97-112, February.
  • Handle: RePEc:tpr:restat:v:93:y:2011:i:1:p:97-112
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    Cited by:

    1. Damon, Amy L. & King, Robert P. & Leibtag, Ephraim, 2013. "First of the month effect: Does it apply across food retail channels?," Food Policy, Elsevier, vol. 41(C), pages 18-27.
    2. Baumann, Florian & Friehe, Tim, 2015. "Status concerns as a motive for crime?," International Review of Law and Economics, Elsevier, vol. 43(C), pages 46-55.
    3. George F. N. Shoukry, 2016. "Criminals' Response To Changing Crime Lucre," Economic Inquiry, Western Economic Association International, vol. 54(3), pages 1464-1483, July.
    4. Chad Cotti & John Gordanier & Orgul Ozturk, 2016. "Eat (and Drink) Better Tonight: Food Stamp Benefit Timing and Drunk Driving Fatalities," American Journal of Health Economics, MIT Press, vol. 2(4), pages 511-534, Fall.
    5. Tim Friehe & Helge Mueller & Florian Neumeier, 2017. "The effect of Western TV on crime: Evidence from East Germany," MAGKS Papers on Economics 201710, Philipps-Universität Marburg, Faculty of Business Administration and Economics, Department of Economics (Volkswirtschaftliche Abteilung).
    6. Munyo, Ignacio & Rossi, Martín A., 2015. "First-day criminal recidivism," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 124(C), pages 81-90.
    7. Parsons, Christopher A. & Van Wesep, Edward D., 2013. "The timing of pay," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 109(2), pages 373-397.
    8. repec:bla:ecinqu:v:55:y:2017:i:2:p:1017-1031 is not listed on IDEAS
    9. Richard Wright & Erdal Tekin & Volkan Topalli & Chandler McClellan & Timothy Dickinson & Richard Rosenfeld, 2017. "Less Cash, Less Crime: Evidence from the Electronic Benefit Transfer Program," Journal of Law and Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 60(2), pages 361-383.
    10. Meloni, Osvaldo, 2014. "Does poverty relief spending reduce crime? Evidence from Argentina," International Review of Law and Economics, Elsevier, vol. 39(C), pages 28-38.
    11. Chioda, Laura & De Mello, João M.P. & Soares, Rodrigo R., 2016. "Spillovers from conditional cash transfer programs: Bolsa Família and crime in urban Brazil," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 54(C), pages 306-320.
    12. Jason M. Lindo & Charles Stoecker, 2014. "Drawn Into Violence: Evidence On “What Makes A Criminal” From The Vietnam Draft Lotteries," Economic Inquiry, Western Economic Association International, vol. 52(1), pages 239-258, January.
    13. Geert Mesters & Victor van der Geest & Catrien Bijleveld, 2014. "Crime, Employment and Social Welfare: an Individual-level Study on Disadvantaged Males," Tinbergen Institute Discussion Papers 14-091/III, Tinbergen Institute.
    14. Bolhaar, Jonneke & Ketel, Nadine & van der Klaauw, Bas, 2016. "Job-Search Periods for Welfare Applicants: Evidence from a Randomized Experiment," IZA Discussion Papers 9786, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    15. Dix-Carneiro, Rafael & Soares, Rodrigo R. & Ulysse, Gabriel, 2017. "Economic Shocks and Crime: Evidence from the Brazilian Trade Liberalization," GLO Discussion Paper Series 3, Global Labor Organization (GLO).

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