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

Listed author(s):
  • Carlo Menon
  • Guido de Blasio

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.

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File URL: http://eprints.lse.ac.uk/58314/
File Function: Open access version.
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Paper provided by London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library in its series LSE Research Online Documents on Economics with number 58314.

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Length: 32 pages
Date of creation: Jun 2013
Handle: RePEc:ehl:lserod:58314
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