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Crime and Benefit Sanctions

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  • Stephen Machin
  • Olivier Marie

Abstract

In this paper we look at the relationship between crime and economic incentives in a different way to other workin this area. We look at changes in unemployment benefits and the imposition of benefit sanctions as a means ofstudying the way that people on the margins of crime may react to economic incentives. The paper relies on aquasiexperimental setting induced by the introduction of the Jobseekers Allowance (JSA) in the UK in October1996. We look at crime rates in areas more and less affected by the policy change before and after JSAintroduction. In the areas more affected by the tougher benefit regime crime rose by more. These were also theareas with higher outflows from unemployment and particularly to people dropping off the register but not intowork, education/training or onto other benefits. Areas that had more sanctioned individuals also experiencedhigher crime rates after the introduction of JSA. As such the benefit cuts and sanctions embodied in the JSAappear to have induced individuals previously on the margins to engage in crime. Thus there appears to havebeen an unintended policy consequence, associated with the benefit reform, namely higher crime.

Suggested Citation

  • Stephen Machin & Olivier Marie, 2004. "Crime and Benefit Sanctions," CEP Discussion Papers dp0645, Centre for Economic Performance, LSE.
  • Handle: RePEc:cep:cepdps:dp0645
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Van Reenen, John, 2005. "Welfare to work: the evidence on Labour’s new deal policies," LSE Research Online Documents on Economics 4672, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library.
    2. Berg, Gerard J. van den & Uhlendorff, Arne & Wolff, Joachim, 2015. "Under heavy pressure : intense monitoring and accumulation of sanctions for young welfare recipients in Germany," IAB Discussion Paper 201534, Institut für Arbeitsmarkt- und Berufsforschung (IAB), Nürnberg [Institute for Employment Research, Nuremberg, Germany].
    3. D'Este, Rocco & Harvey, Alex, 2020. "Universal Credit and Crime," IZA Discussion Papers 13484, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).
    4. van den Berg, Gerard J. & Uhlendorff, Arne & Wolff, Joachim, 2019. "The impact of sanctions for young welfare recipients on transitions to work and wages and on dropping out," Working Paper Series 2019:5, IFAU - Institute for Evaluation of Labour Market and Education Policy.
    5. Denis Fougère & Francis Kramarz & Julien Pouget, 2009. "Youth Unemployment and Crime in France," Journal of the European Economic Association, MIT Press, vol. 7(5), pages 909-938, September.
    6. Torben Tranaes, 2015. "Active labor market policies and crime," IZA World of Labor, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA), pages 185-185, September.
    7. Bindler, Anna, 2016. "Still unemployed, what next? Crime and unemployment duration," Working Papers in Economics 660, University of Gothenburg, Department of Economics.
    8. Olivier Marie, 2005. "Reducing Crime: More Police, More Prisons or More Pay?," CEP Election Analysis Papers 002, Centre for Economic Performance, LSE.
    9. Mustard, David B., 2010. "How Do Labor Markets Affect Crime? New Evidence on an Old Puzzle," IZA Discussion Papers 4856, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).
    10. Fallesen, Peter & Geerdsen, Lars Pico & Imai, Susumu & Tranæs, Torben, 2014. "The Effect of Workfare on Crime: Incapacitation and Program Effects," IZA Discussion Papers 8716, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).
    11. Rudolph, Maximilian & Starke, Peter, 2020. "How does the welfare state reduce crime? The effect of program characteristics and decommodification across 18 OECD-countries," Journal of Criminal Justice, Elsevier, vol. 68(C).
    12. Shiyun Zhang, . "Immigration and Crime in Frictional Labor Markets," Review of Economic Dynamics, Elsevier for the Society for Economic Dynamics.
    13. David B. Mustard, 2010. "Labor Markets and Crime: New Evidence on an Old Puzzle," Chapters, in: Bruce L. Benson & Paul R. Zimmerman (ed.), Handbook on the Economics of Crime, chapter 14, Edward Elgar Publishing.
    14. Jesús María Cárdenas & Néstor Juan Sanabria, 2013. "Reflexiones en torno a la economía del delito," Dimensión Empresarial, Universidad Autónoma del Caribe, November.
    15. repec:iza:izawol:journl:y:2015:p:185 is not listed on IDEAS
    16. Olmo Silva, 2004. "Entrepreneurship: Can the Jack-of-All-Trades Attitude be Aquired?," CEP Discussion Papers dp0665, Centre for Economic Performance, LSE.

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Crime; Benefit Sanctions; Jobseekers allowance;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • H00 - Public Economics - - General - - - General
    • J65 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Mobility, Unemployment, Vacancies, and Immigrant Workers - - - Unemployment Insurance; Severance Pay; Plant Closings

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