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Down and out in Italian towns: measuring the impact of economic downturns on crime

  • Guido de Blasio

    ()

    (Bank of Italy)

  • Carlo Menon

    ()

    (OECD)

The paper investigates the effect of local economic conditions on crime. The study focuses on Italy�s local labor markets and analyzes the short-term response of crime to the severe slump of 2007-2009. It shows that the downturn led to a significant increase in economic-related offenses that do not require particular criminal skills or tools (namely, thefts); on the other hand, for offenses for which specific skills and criminal experience are essential (say, robberies) the impact of the crisis was negative. The results also suggest that: i) labor market institutions (i.e. wage supplementary schemes and pro-worker contractual arrangements) had a role in slowing down the effect of the economy on crime; ii) the link between the downturn and crime was weaker in areas where the presence of organized crime is relatively more intensive.

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File URL: http://www.bancaditalia.it/pubblicazioni/temi-discussione/2013/2013-0925/en_tema_925.pdf
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Paper provided by Bank of Italy, Economic Research and International Relations Area in its series Temi di discussione (Economic working papers) with number 925.

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Date of creation: Jul 2013
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Handle: RePEc:bdi:wptemi:td_925_13
Contact details of provider: Postal: Via Nazionale, 91 - 00184 Roma
Web page: http://www.bancaditalia.it

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  1. Mehlum, Halvor & Miguel, Edward & Torvik, Ragnar, 2006. "Poverty and crime in 19th century Germany," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 59(3), pages 370-388, May.
  2. Ichino, Andrea & Winter-Ebmer, Rudolf, 1999. "Lower and upper bounds of returns to schooling: An exercise in IV estimation with different instruments," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 43(4-6), pages 889-901, April.
  3. Stephen Machin & Costas Meghir, 2004. "Crime and Economic Incentives," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 39(4).
  4. Edward L. Glaeser & Bruce Sacerdote, 1996. "Why Is There More Crime in Cities?," NBER Working Papers 5430, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  5. Paolo Buonanno, 2005. "Crime and labour market opportunities in Italy (1993-2002)," Working Papers (-2012) 0504, University of Bergamo, Department of Economics.
  6. Bignon, Vincent & Caroli, Eve & Galbiati, Roberto, 2014. "Stealing to Survive? Crime and Income Shocks in 19th Century France," IZA Discussion Papers 8531, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  7. Imbens, Guido W & Angrist, Joshua D, 1994. "Identification and Estimation of Local Average Treatment Effects," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 62(2), pages 467-75, March.
  8. Mustard, David B., 2010. "How Do Labor Markets Affect Crime? New Evidence on an Old Puzzle," IZA Discussion Papers 4856, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  9. Fougère, Denis & Kramarz, Francis & Pouget, Julien, 2006. "Youth Unemployment and Crime in France," IZA Discussion Papers 2009, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  10. Paolo Pinotti, 2012. "The Economic Costs of Organized Crime: Evidence from Southern Italy," Working Papers 054, "Carlo F. Dondena" Centre for Research on Social Dynamics (DONDENA), Università Commerciale Luigi Bocconi.
  11. Vincent Bignon & Eve Caroli & Roberto Galbiati, 2011. "Stealing to Survive: Crime and Income Shocks in 19th Century France," PSE Working Papers halshs-00623804, HAL.
  12. Bianchi, Milo & Buonanno, Paolo & Pinotti, Paolo, 2010. "Do Immigrants Cause Crime?," CEPREMAP Working Papers (Docweb) 1023, CEPREMAP.
  13. Steven D. Levitt, 2004. "Understanding Why Crime Fell in the 1990s: Four Factors that Explain the Decline and Six that Do Not," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 18(1), pages 163-190, Winter.
  14. repec:hal:wpaper:halshs-00623804 is not listed on IDEAS
  15. Karin Edmark, 2005. "Unemployment and Crime: Is There a Connection?," Scandinavian Journal of Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 107(2), pages 353-373, 06.
  16. David B. Mustard, 2010. "Labor Markets and Crime: New Evidence on an Old Puzzle," Chapters, in: Handbook on the Economics of Crime, chapter 14 Edward Elgar.
  17. Carlo Menon, 2012. "The bright side of MAUP: Defining new measures of industrial agglomeration," Papers in Regional Science, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 91(1), pages 3-28, 03.
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