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Welfare Activation and Youth Crime

Author

Listed:
  • Bratsberg, Bernt

    () (Ragnar Frisch Centre for Economic Research)

  • Hernaes, Øystein

    () (Ragnar Frisch Centre for Economic Research)

  • Markussen, Simen

    () (Ragnar Frisch Centre for Economic Research)

  • Raaum, Oddbjørn

    () (Ragnar Frisch Centre for Economic Research)

  • Røed, Knut

    () (Ragnar Frisch Centre for Economic Research)

Abstract

We evaluate the impact on youth crime of a welfare reform that tightened activation requirements for social assistance clients. The evaluation strategy exploits administrative individual data in combination with geographically differentiated implementation of the reform. We find that the reform reduced crime among teenage boys from economically disadvantaged families. Stronger reform effects on weekday versus weekend crime, reduced school dropout, and favorable long-run outcomes in terms of crime and educational attainment, point to both incapacitation and human capital accumulation as key mechanisms. Despite lowered social assistance take-up we uncover no indication that loss of income support pushed youth into crime.

Suggested Citation

  • Bratsberg, Bernt & Hernaes, Øystein & Markussen, Simen & Raaum, Oddbjørn & Røed, Knut, 2018. "Welfare Activation and Youth Crime," IZA Discussion Papers 11719, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  • Handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp11719
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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
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    6. Hernæs, Øystein & Markussen, Simen & Røed, Knut, 2017. "Can welfare conditionality combat high school dropout?," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 48(C), pages 144-156.
    7. Randi Hjalmarsson & Helena Holmlund & Matthew J. Lindquist, 2015. "The Effect of Education on Criminal Convictions and Incarceration: Causal Evidence from Micro‐data," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 125(587), pages 1290-1326, September.
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    More about this item

    Keywords

    social assistance; youth crime; activation;

    JEL classification:

    • H55 - Public Economics - - National Government Expenditures and Related Policies - - - Social Security and Public Pensions
    • I29 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Education - - - Other
    • I38 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Welfare, Well-Being, and Poverty - - - Government Programs; Provision and Effects of Welfare Programs
    • J18 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Public Policy

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