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The Local Determinants of Victimization

  • Camille Hémet


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

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. Gary S. Becker, 1968. "Crime and Punishment: An Economic Approach," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 76, pages 169.
  2. Denis Fougère & Francis Kramarz & Julien Pouget, 2007. "Youth Unemployment and Crime in France," Working Papers 2007-33, Centre de Recherche en Economie et Statistique.
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  5. Patacchini, Eleonora & Zenou, Yves, 2008. "The strength of weak ties in crime," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 52(2), pages 209-236, February.
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  9. 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.
  10. Patrick Bayer & Stephen L. Ross & Giorgio Topa, 2005. "Place of Work and Place of Residence: Informal Hiring Networks and Labor Market Outcomes," Working Papers 927, Economic Growth Center, Yale University.
  11. Bianchi, Milo & Buonanno, Paolo & Pinotti, Paolo, 2012. "Do Immigrants Cause Crime?," Economics Papers from University Paris Dauphine 123456789/5382, Paris Dauphine University.
  12. Morgan Kelly, 2000. "Inequality And Crime," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 82(4), pages 530-539, November.
  13. H. Hanson, Gordon, 2005. "Market potential, increasing returns and geographic concentration," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 67(1), pages 1-24, September.
  14. Edward L. Glaeser & Bruce Sacerdote & Jose A. Scheinkman, 1995. "Crime and Social Interactions," NBER Working Papers 5026, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  15. Spenkuch, Jörg L., 2010. "Understanding the Impact of Immigration on Crime," MPRA Paper 22864, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  16. Paolo Buonanno & Daniel Montolio & Paolo Vanin, 2006. "Does Social Capital Reduce Crime?," "Marco Fanno" Working Papers 0029, Dipartimento di Scienze Economiche "Marco Fanno".
  17. Antoni Calvó-Armengol & Thierry Verdier & Yves Zenou, 2015. "Strong and Weak Ties in Employment and Crime," Working Papers 180, Barcelona Graduate School of Economics.
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