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Crime and the Labor Market

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  • Richard B. Freeman

Abstract

Much work on crime has focused on the effect of criminal sanctions on crime, ignoring (except as a control variable) the effect of labor market conditions on crime. This study reviews studies of time series, cross area, and individual evidence pertaining to the effect of unemployment and other labor market variables on crime and compares the "strength" of the labor market-crime and the sanctions-crime relations. It concludes that there is a labor market-crime link but that this link is not well estimated by existing studies and is weaker than the sanctions-crime link. The rise in crime in recent years does not appear to be greatly due to the performance of the labor market.

Suggested Citation

  • Richard B. Freeman, 1982. "Crime and the Labor Market," NBER Working Papers 1031, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  • Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:1031
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Gary S. Becker, 1974. "Crime and Punishment: An Economic Approach," NBER Chapters, in: Essays in the Economics of Crime and Punishment, pages 1-54, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    2. Bartel, Ann P, 1979. "Women and Crime: An Economic Analysis," Economic Inquiry, Western Economic Association International, vol. 17(1), pages 29-51, January.
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