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Spatial Nexus in Crime and unemployment in Times of crisis: Evidence from Germany

  • Povilas Lastauskas
  • Eirini Tatsi

Space is important. The recent global financial crisis has vividly pointed to spatial patterns in economies’ reactions to the global economic shocks. This paper focuses on labor market responses and its interactions with criminal activities in a causal and spatial framework. we study the case of Germany as evidently this country’s economy has demonstrated resilience during the whirl of economic crisis. Our contribution is twofold: first, we lay down a parsimonious labor market model with search frictions, criminal opportunities, and, unlike earlier analyzes, productivity shocks which are important in explaining empirical regularity of criminal engagement. Second, we seek empirical support using data on the 402 German districts for 2009-2010, the years following the global financial crisis, in a setting that allows not only crime spatial multipliers but also inherent endogeneity of unemployment. Adverse income shocks clearly unfold a spatial nexus between unemployment and crime rates. More specifical ly, we find that youth unemployment plays a prominent role in explaining property crime, namely housing burglary. Our results are in line with previous research: neglecting endogeneity of unemployment understates its impact and employing the youth unemployment share instead of rate points to distinctive effects. The analysis offers important implications for countries that are currently undergoing fiscal consolidation and are experiencing high unemployment rates.

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Paper provided by Faculty of Economics, University of Cambridge in its series Cambridge Working Papers in Economics with number 1359.

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Date of creation: 12 Sep 2013
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Handle: RePEc:cam:camdae:1359
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