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

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  • Menon, Carlo
  • de Blasio, Guido

Abstract

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.

Suggested Citation

  • Menon, Carlo & de Blasio, Guido, 2013. "Down and Out in Italian towns: measuring the impact of economic downturns on crime," LSE Research Online Documents on Economics 58314, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library.
  • Handle: RePEc:ehl:lserod:58314
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Deiana, C, 2016. "Local Labour Market Effects of Unemployment on Crime Induced by Trade Shocks," Economics Discussion Papers 16529, University of Essex, Department of Economics.
    2. Ganau, Roberto & Rodr�guez-Pose, Andr�s, 2017. "Industrial Clusters, Organized Crime and Productivity Growth in Italian SMEs," CEPR Discussion Papers 12140, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    3. Silvio Ciappi & Elena Dalla Chiara & Federico Perali & Barbara Santagata, 2015. "A Method to Measure Standard Costs of Juvenile Justice Systems: the example of Italy," Working Papers 15/2015, University of Verona, Department of Economics.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    crime; economic crises; Italy;

    JEL classification:

    • E32 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Prices, Business Fluctuations, and Cycles - - - Business Fluctuations; Cycles
    • K14 - Law and Economics - - Basic Areas of Law - - - Criminal Law
    • K42 - Law and Economics - - Legal Procedure, the Legal System, and Illegal Behavior - - - Illegal Behavior and the Enforcement of Law

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