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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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    2. Deiana, Claudio & Geraci, Andrea, 2021. "Are wind turbines a mafia windfall? The unintended consequences of green incentives," Regional Science and Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 89(C).
    3. Ardizzi, Guerino & De Franceschis, Pierpaolo & Giammatteo, Michele, 2018. "Cash payment anomalies and money laundering: An econometric analysis of Italian municipalities," International Review of Law and Economics, Elsevier, vol. 56(C), pages 105-121.
    4. 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.
    5. Pengfei Jia & King Yoong Lim, 2021. "The stabilization role of police spending in a neo‐Keynesian economy with credit market imperfections," Scottish Journal of Political Economy, Scottish Economic Society, vol. 68(1), pages 103-125, February.
    6. Roberto Ganau & Andrés Rodríguez†Pose, 2018. "Industrial clusters, organized crime, and productivity growth in Italian SMEs," Journal of Regional Science, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 58(2), pages 363-385, March.
    7. Mindaugas Butkus & Kristina Matuzevièi?t? & Alma Maèiulyt?-Šniukien?, 2019. "Do Economic Conditions Still Cause Crime? Some Comforting Empirical Evidences from EU Panel," Zbornik radova Ekonomskog fakulteta u Rijeci/Proceedings of Rijeka Faculty of Economics, University of Rijeka, Faculty of Economics and Business, vol. 37(2), pages 603-628.
    8. Amedeo Argentiero & Bruno Chiarini & Elisabetta Marzano, 2020. "Does Tax Evasion Affect Economic Crime?," Fiscal Studies, John Wiley & Sons, vol. 41(2), pages 441-482, June.
    9. Leighton Vaughan Williams & Chunping Liu & Hannah Gerrard, 2019. "How well do Elo-based ratings predict professional tennis matches?," NBS Discussion Papers in Economics 2019/03, Economics, Nottingham Business School, Nottingham Trent University.
    10. 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.
    11. Ylenia Brilli & Marco Tonello, 2015. "The contemporaneous effect of education on adolescent crime. Mechanisms and evidence from regional divides," CHILD Working Papers Series 41 JEL Classification: I2, Centre for Household, Income, Labour and Demographic Economics (CHILD) - CCA.
    12. Aldo Pignataro, 2021. "Becoming member of the European Union: What is the relationship with the robbery rate?," Empirica, Springer;Austrian Institute for Economic Research;Austrian Economic Association, vol. 48(2), pages 533-558, May.
    13. Kenchington, David G. & Shohfi, Thomas D. & Smith, Jared D. & White, Roger M., 2022. "Do sin tax hikes spur cheating in interpersonal exchange?," Accounting, Organizations and Society, Elsevier, vol. 96(C).

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    crime; economic crises; Italy;
    All these keywords.

    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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