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The Local Determinants of Victimization

  • Camille Hémet


    (Département d'économie, Sciences Po - Sciences Po, AMSE - Aix-Marseille School of Economics - CNRS - Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique - AMU - Aix Marseille Université - ECM - Ecole Centrale de Marseille - EHESS - École des hautes études en sciences sociales)

This paper explores the determinants of victimization at the neighborhood level, using data from the French victimization survey. Its contribution to the economics of crime literature is threefold. First, I provide evidence that neighborhood characteristics explain victimization better than individual characteristics. Second, I find that local unemployment rate is one of the most important factor explaining victimization, with a particularly large effect on small crimes such as motorbike theft or vandalism. I then tackle the endogenous location selection issue, by adopting the strategy developed by Bayer et al. (2008), based on the fact that the study is conducted at a very low geographic level. Third, I take advantage of the precise localization of the data to adopt a spatial approach, comparing the effect of unemployment rate in the reference neighborhood and in adjacent neighborhoods. The results support the idea that criminals are mobile across neighborhoods for more serious economic crimes, in line with the Beckerian theory of crime, but that petty crimes and vandalism do not involve any mobility, relating to the social disorganization theory.

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Paper provided by HAL in its series Working Papers with number halshs-00873530.

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Date of creation: Oct 2013
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Handle: RePEc:hal:wpaper:halshs-00873530
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  1. Antoni Calvó-Armengol & Thierry Verdier & Yves Zenouc, 2007. "Strong and Weak Ties in Employment and Crime," Post-Print halshs-00754247, HAL.
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  13. Paolo Buonanno & Daniel Montolio & Paolo Vanin, 2009. "Does Social Capital Reduce Crime?," Journal of Law and Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 52(1), pages 145-170, 02.
  14. Edward L. Glaeser & Bruce Sacerdote & Jose A. Scheinkman, 1995. "Crime and Social Interactions," NBER Working Papers 5026, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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  16. Gary S. Becker, 1968. "Crime and Punishment: An Economic Approach," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 76, pages 169.
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