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Stealing to Survive? Crime and Income Shocks in 19th Century France

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  • Bignon, Vincent

    () (Bank of France)

  • Caroli, Eve

    () (Université Paris-Dauphine)

  • Galbiati, Roberto

    () (CNRS)

Abstract

Using local administrative data from 1826 to 1936, we document the evolution of crime rates in 19th century France and we estimate the impact of a negative income shock on crime. Our identification strategy exploits the phylloxera crisis. Between 1863 and 1890, phylloxera destroyed about 40% of French vineyards. We use the geographical variation in the timing of this shock to identify its impact on property and violent crime rates, as well as minor offences. Our estimates suggest that the phylloxera crisis caused a substantial increase in property crime rates and a significant decrease in violent crimes.

Suggested Citation

  • Bignon, Vincent & Caroli, Eve & Galbiati, Roberto, 2014. "Stealing to Survive? Crime and Income Shocks in 19th Century France," IZA Discussion Papers 8531, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).
  • Handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp8531
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    Cited by:

    1. Corvalan, Alejandro & Pazzona, Matteo, 2019. "Persistent commodity shocks and transitory crime effects," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 158(C), pages 110-127.
    2. Luigi Guiso & Helios Herrera & Massimo Morelli, 2016. "Cultural Differences and Institutional Integration," NBER Chapters, in: NBER International Seminar on Macroeconomics 2015, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    3. Stefan Oliver Houpt & Juan Carlos Rojo Cagigal, 2014. "Relative deprivation and labour conflict during Spain’s industrialization: the Bilbao estuary, 1914–1936," Cliometrica, Journal of Historical Economics and Econometric History, Association Française de Cliométrie (AFC), vol. 8(3), pages 335-369, September.
    4. Yu Aoki & Theodore Koutmeridis, 2019. "Shaking Criminal Incentives," Working Papers 2019-13, Business School - Economics, University of Glasgow.
    5. de Blasio, Guido & Maggio, Giuseppe & Menon, Carlo, 2016. "Down and out in Italian towns: Measuring the impact of economic downturns on crime," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 146(C), pages 99-102.
    6. Pamfili Antipa & Vincent Bignon, 2018. "Whither Economic History? Between Narratives and Quantification," Revue de l'OFCE, Presses de Sciences-Po, vol. 0(3), pages 17-36.
    7. Francesco Bogliacino & Camilo Gómez & Gianluca Grimalda, 2019. "Crime-related Exposure to Violence and Social Preferences: Experimental Evidence from Bogotá," Documentos de Trabajo - Escuela de Economía 017345, Universidad Nacional de Colombia -FCE - CID.
    8. Sekhri, Sheetal & Storeygard, Adam, 2014. "Dowry deaths: Response to weather variability in India," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 111(C), pages 212-223.
    9. Fone, Zachary S. & Friedson, Andrew I. & Lipton, Brandy & Sabia, Joseph J., 2020. "The Dependent Coverage Mandate Took a Bite Out of Crime," IZA Discussion Papers 12968, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).
    10. V. Bignon & C. Jobst, 2017. "Economic Crises and the Eligibility for the Lender of Last Resort: Evidence from 19th century France," Working papers 618, Banque de France.
    11. Flückiger, Matthias & Ludwig, Markus, 2015. "Economic shocks in the fisheries sector and maritime piracy," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 114(C), pages 107-125.
    12. Fernando Borraz & Ignacio Munyo, 2020. "Conditional Cash Transfers and Crime: Higher Income but also Better Loot," Economics Bulletin, AccessEcon, vol. 40(2), pages 1804-1813.
    13. Irena Grosfeld & Seyhun Orcan Sakalli & Ekaterina Zhuravskaya, 2020. "Middleman Minorities and Ethnic Violence: Anti-Jewish Pogroms in the Russian Empire," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 87(1), pages 289-342.
    14. Yu Aoki & Theodore Koutmeridis, 2019. "Shaking Criminal Incentives," Working Papers 2019_13, Business School - Economics, University of Glasgow.
    15. Aoki, Yu & Koutmeridis, Theodore, 2019. "Shaking Criminal Incentives," IZA Discussion Papers 12781, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).
    16. Bindler, Anna L & Hjalmarsson, Randi, 2019. "The Impact of the First Professional Police Forces on Crime," CEPR Discussion Papers 14068, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    17. Bogliacino, Francesco & Montealegre, Felipe, 2020. "Do Negative Economic Shocks Affect Cognitive Function, Adherence to Social Norms and Loss Aversion?," SocArXiv y4zaw, Center for Open Science.
    18. Marcela Ibanez & Juanita Vasquez, 2016. "Can we fight drugs using communication campaigns? A framed field experiment," Courant Research Centre: Poverty, Equity and Growth - Discussion Papers 199, Courant Research Centre PEG.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    19th century France; crime; income shock; phylloxera;

    JEL classification:

    • K42 - Law and Economics - - Legal Procedure, the Legal System, and Illegal Behavior - - - Illegal Behavior and the Enforcement of Law
    • N33 - Economic History - - Labor and Consumers, Demography, Education, Health, Welfare, Income, Wealth, Religion, and Philanthropy - - - Europe: Pre-1913
    • R11 - Urban, Rural, Regional, Real Estate, and Transportation Economics - - General Regional Economics - - - Regional Economic Activity: Growth, Development, Environmental Issues, and Changes

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