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Youth Unemployment and Crime in France

  • Denis Fougère

    (Crest)

  • Francis Kramarz

    (Crest)

  • Julien Pouget

    (Crest)

In this paper we examine the influence of unemployment on property crimes and on violentcrimes in France for the period 1990 to 2000. This analysis is the first extensive study for thiscountry. We construct a regional-level data set (for the 95 départements of metropolitanFrance) with measures of crimes as reported to the Ministry of Interior. To assess socialconditions prevailing in the département in that year, we construct measures of theunemployment rate as well as other social, economic and demographic variables usingmultiple waves of the French Labor Survey. We estimate a classic Becker type model inwhich unemployment is a measure of how potential criminals fare in the legitimate jobmarket. First, our estimates show that in the cross-section dimension, crime andunemployment are positively associated. Second, we find that increases in youthunemployment induce increases in crime. Using the predicted industrial structure toinstrument unemployment, we show that this effect is causal for burglaries, thefts, and drugoffences. To combat crime, it appears thus that all strategies designed to combat youthunemployment should be examined.

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Paper provided by Centre de Recherche en Economie et Statistique in its series Working Papers with number 2007-33.

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Length: 37
Date of creation: 2007
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:crs:wpaper:2007-33
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  1. Richard B. Freeman, 1996. "Why Do So Many Young American Men Commit Crimes and What Might We Do About It?," NBER Working Papers 5451, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  2. Giulio Fella & Giovanni Gallipoli, 2014. "Education and Crime over the Life Cycle," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 81(4), pages 1484-1517.
  3. Raphael, Steven & WINTER-EBMER, RUDOLF, 1998. "Identifying the Effect of Unemployment on Crime," University of California at San Diego, Economics Working Paper Series qt5hb4h56g, Department of Economics, UC San Diego.
  4. Lance Lochner, 2004. "Education, Work, and Crime: A Human Capital Approach," NBER Working Papers 10478, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  5. Witte, Ann D & Tauchen, Helen, 1994. "Work and Crime: An Exploration Using Panel Data," Public Finance = Finances publiques, , vol. 49(Supplemen), pages 155-67.
  6. Steven D. Levitt & Lance Lochner, 2001. "The Determinants of Juvenile Crime," NBER Chapters, in: Risky Behavior among Youths: An Economic Analysis, pages 327-374 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  7. Stephen Machin & Olivier Marie, 2004. "Crime and Benefit Sanctions," CEP Discussion Papers dp0645, Centre for Economic Performance, LSE.
  8. Gary S. Becker, 1968. "Crime and Punishment: An Economic Approach," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 76, pages 169.
  9. Jayadev, Arjun & Bowles, Samuel, 2006. "Guard labor," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 79(2), pages 328-348, April.
  10. Steven D. Levitt, 1999. "The changing relationship between income and crime victimization," Economic Policy Review, Federal Reserve Bank of New York, issue Sep, pages 87-98.
  11. Richard B. Freeman, 1982. "Crime and the Labor Market," NBER Working Papers 1031, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  12. Stephen Machin & Costas Meghir, 2004. "Crime and Economic Incentives," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 39(4).
  13. Entorf, Horst & Spengler, Hannes, 2000. "Socioeconomic and demographic factors of crime in Germany: Evidence from panel data of the German states," International Review of Law and Economics, Elsevier, vol. 20(1), pages 75-106, March.
  14. Edward E. Glaeser & Bruce Sacerdote & Jose A. Scheinkman, 1995. "Crime and Social Interactions," Harvard Institute of Economic Research Working Papers 1738, Harvard - Institute of Economic Research.
  15. Papps, Kerry L. & Winkelmann, Rainer, 1998. "Unemployment and Crime: New Answers to an Old Question," IZA Discussion Papers 25, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  16. Olivier Jean Blanchard & Lawrence F. Katz, 1992. "Regional Evolutions," Brookings Papers on Economic Activity, Economic Studies Program, The Brookings Institution, vol. 23(1), pages 1-76.
  17. Ayse Imrohoroglu & Antonio Merlo & Peter Rupert, 1996. "On the political economy of income redistribution and crime," Staff Report 216, Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis.
  18. David Card & Francis Kramarz & Thomas Lemieux, 1996. "Changes in the Relative Structure of Wages and Employment: A Comparison of the United States, Canada, and France," NBER Working Papers 5487, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  19. Erkki Koskela & Matti Viren, 1997. "An occupational choice model of crime switching," Applied Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 29(5), pages 655-660.
  20. Ann Dryden Witte & Helen Tauchen, 1994. "Work and Crime: An Exploration Using Panel Data," NBER Working Papers 4794, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  21. Poutvaara, Panu & Priks, Mikael, 2007. "Unemployment and Gang Crime: Could Prosperity Backfire?," IZA Discussion Papers 2710, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  22. Dominique Goux & Eric Maurin, 1998. "The Decline in Demand for Unskilled Labor : An Empirical Analysis Method and its Application to France," Working Papers 98-53, Centre de Recherche en Economie et Statistique.
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  24. Grogger, Jeff, 1998. "Market Wages and Youth Crime," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 16(4), pages 756-91, October.
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  26. Fajnzylber, Pablo & Lederman, Daniel & Loayza, Norman, 2002. "What causes violent crime?," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 46(7), pages 1323-1357, July.
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  29. repec:ucn:oapubs:10197/523 is not listed on IDEAS
  30. Morgan Kelly, 2000. "Inequality And Crime," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 82(4), pages 530-539, November.
  31. Joshua D. Angrist & Victor Lavy, 1998. "Does Teacher Training Affect Pupil Learning? Evidence from Matched Comparisons in Jerusalem Public Schools," NBER Working Papers 6781, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  32. John T. Addison & Paulino Teixeira & Katalin Evers & Lutz Bellmann, 2015. "Collective Bargaining and Innovation," Working Paper Series 15-07, The Rimini Centre for Economic Analysis.
  33. Meyers, Samuel L, Jr, 1983. "Estimating the Economic Model of Crime: Employment versus Punishment Effects," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 98(1), pages 157-66, February.
  34. Grogger, Jeff, 1992. "Arrests, Persistent Youth Joblessness, and Black/White Employment Differentials," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 74(1), pages 100-106, February.
  35. Imai, Susumu & Krishna, Kala, 2001. "Employment, Dynamic Deterrence and Crime," Working Papers 1-01-2, Pennsylvania State University, Department of Economics.
  36. Marco Cozzi, 2005. "Black-White Labour Market Conditions and Property Crime in the US: A Quantitative Analysis," Computing in Economics and Finance 2005 339, Society for Computational Economics.
  37. Witte, Ann Dryden, 1980. "Estimating the Economic Model of Crime with Individual Data," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 94(1), pages 57-84, February.
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  39. Ehrlich, Isaac, 1973. "Participation in Illegitimate Activities: A Theoretical and Empirical Investigation," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 81(3), pages 521-65, May-June.
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