Rainfall, Poverty and Crime in 19th Century Germany
We estimate the impact of poverty on crime in 19th century Bavaria, Germany. Rainfall is used as an instrumental variable for the price of rye to address identification problems found in the existing literature. The rye price was a major determinant of the cost of living and poverty during this period. The rye price has a positive and statistically significant effect on property crime: a one standard deviation increase in the rye price increased property crime by a moderate 8 percent, a result similar to recent findings from the contemporary U.S. This result is robust to another poverty measure (the real wage), and when we restrict attention to lagged rainfall measures as instruments – ruling out some possible violations of the exclusion restriction. OLS estimates are twice as large as instrumental variable estimates. Higher rye prices lead to significantly less violent crime, though, and we argue that higher beer prices (caused by higher rye prices) are a likely explanation. We discuss implications for economic theories of crime, and for public policy in less developed countries today.
|Date of creation:||15 Jan 2004|
|Date of revision:|
|Contact details of provider:|| Postal: |
Phone: 22 85 51 27
Fax: 22 85 50 35
Web page: http://www.oekonomi.uio.no/indexe.html
More information through EDIRC
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:
- George Loewenstein & Ted O'Donoghue & Matthew Rabin, 2001.
"Projection Bias in Predicting Future Utility,"
General Economics and Teaching
- Loewenstein, George & O'Donoghue, Ted & Rabin, Matthew, 2002. "Projection Bias in Predicting Future Utility," Working Papers 02-11, Cornell University, Center for Analytic Economics.
- Loewenstein, George & O'Donoghue, Ted & Rabin, Matthew, 2000. "Projection Bias in Predicting Future Utility," Department of Economics, Working Paper Series qt5qh6142m, Department of Economics, Institute for Business and Economic Research, UC Berkeley.
- George Loewenstein, Ted O'Donoghue and Matthew Rabin., 2000. "Projection Bias in Predicting Future Utility," Economics Working Papers E00-284, University of California at Berkeley.
- Raphael, Steven & WINTER-EBMER, RUDOLF, 1998.
"Identifying the Effect of Unemployment on Crime,"
University of California at San Diego, Economics Working Paper Series
qt5hb4h56g, Department of Economics, UC San Diego.
- Gary S. Becker, 1968.
"Crime and Punishment: An Economic Approach,"
Journal of Political Economy,
University of Chicago Press, vol. 76, pages 169.
- Sara Markowitz, 2000. "An Economic Analysis of Alcohol, Drugs, and Violent Crime in the National Crime Victimization Survey," NBER Working Papers 7982, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Baten, Jorg & Murray, John E., 2000. "Heights of Men and Women in 19th-Century Bavaria: Economic, Nutritional, and Disease Influences," Explorations in Economic History, Elsevier, vol. 37(4), pages 351-369, October.
- O'Donoghue, Ted & Rabin, Matthew, 2000.
"Risky Behavior Among Youths: Some Issues from Behavioral Economics,"
Department of Economics, Working Paper Series
qt5sf0z5rs, Department of Economics, Institute for Business and Economic Research, UC Berkeley.
- Ted O'Donoghue & Matthew Rabin, 2001. "Risky Behavior among Youths: Some Issues from Behavioral Economics," NBER Chapters, in: Risky Behavior among Youths: An Economic Analysis, pages 29-68 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Ted O'Donoghue and Matthew Rabin., 2000. "Risky Behavior Among Youths: Some Issues from Behavioral Economics," Economics Working Papers E00-285, University of California at Berkeley.
- Fajnzylber, Pablo & Lederman, Daniel & Loayza, Norman, 2002. "What causes violent crime?," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 46(7), pages 1323-1357, July.
- Sara Markowitz, 2000. "Criminal Violence and Alcohol Beverage Control: Evidence from an International Study," NBER Working Papers 7481, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:hhs:osloec:2004_004. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.
For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Rhiana Bergh-Seeley)
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.