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Crime Rates Versus Labor Market Conditions; Theory and Time-Series Evidence


  • Tadashi Yamada
  • Tetsuji Yamada
  • Johan M. Kang


The aim of this paper is to examine the impact of labor market conditions, represented by male civilian unemployment rates, on seven major categories of crime. We propose a theoretical model from which the positive macro relationship between the unemployment rate and the crime rate is explicitly derived. The solution of the proposed model shows the concurrent counter-cyclical movements of the unemployment and crime rates, which is found to be consistent with the U.S. time series data from the first quarter of 1970 to the fourth quarter of 1983. Thus, we propose a view that an increase in the unemployment rate triggers a subsequent increase in the crime rate. Further, we find that the unemployment rate is statistically exogenous in the VAR model, which indicates a fact that there lie the economic forces and motivations behind the positive relationship between the unemployment rate and the crime rate.

Suggested Citation

  • Tadashi Yamada & Tetsuji Yamada & Johan M. Kang, 1991. "Crime Rates Versus Labor Market Conditions; Theory and Time-Series Evidence," NBER Working Papers 3801, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  • Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:3801
    Note: LS

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    References listed on IDEAS

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    3. Zvi Griliches, 1984. "R&D, Patents, and Productivity," NBER Books, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc, number gril84-1, January.
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    5. Martin Neil Baily, 1981. "Productivity and the Services of Capital and Labor," Brookings Papers on Economic Activity, Economic Studies Program, The Brookings Institution, vol. 12(1), pages 1-66.
    6. Griliches, Zvi, 1988. "Productivity Puzzles and R&D: Another Nonexplanation," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 2(4), pages 9-21, Fall.
    7. Bernstein, J.I. & Nadiri, M.I., 1988. "Rates Of Return On Physical And R&D Capital And Structure Of The Production Process: Cross Section And Time Series Evidence," Working Papers 88-09, C.V. Starr Center for Applied Economics, New York University.
    8. Olson, Mancur, 1988. "The Productivity Slowdown, the Oil Shocks, and the Real Cycle," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 2(4), pages 43-69, Fall.
    9. Dale W. Jorgenson, 2011. "Innovation and Productivity Growth," American Journal of Agricultural Economics, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association, vol. 93(2), pages 276-296.
    10. Jaffe, Adam B, 1988. "Demand and Supply Influences in R&D Intensity and Productivity Growth," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 70(3), pages 431-437, August.
    11. Odagiri, Hiroyuki & Iwata, Hitoshi, 1986. "The impact of R&D on productivity increase in Japanese manufacturing companies," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 15(1), pages 13-19, February.
    12. Fuller, Wayne A. & Battese, George E., 1974. "Estimation of linear models with crossed-error structure," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 2(1), pages 67-78, May.
    13. Bruno, Michael, 1978. "Duality, Intermediate Inputs and Value-Added," Histoy of Economic Thought Chapters,in: Fuss, Melvyn & McFadden, Daniel (ed.), Production Economics: A Dual Approach to Theory and Applications, volume 2, chapter 1 McMaster University Archive for the History of Economic Thought.
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    Cited by:

    1. Gerard van den Berg & Michele Tertilt, 2012. "Domestic Violence over the Business Cycle," 2012 Meeting Papers 1171, Society for Economic Dynamics.
    2. B. Wolfe & S. Zuvekas, "undated". "Nonmarket outcomes of schooling," Institute for Research on Poverty Discussion Papers 1065-95, University of Wisconsin Institute for Research on Poverty.
    3. Entorf, Horst & Spengler, Hannes, 2000. "Development and validation of scientific indicators of the relationship between criminality, social cohesion and economic performance," ZEW Dokumentationen 00-05, ZEW - Zentrum für Europäische Wirtschaftsforschung / Center for European Economic Research.
    4. repec:ere:journl:v:xxxvi:y:2017:i:1:p:25-58 is not listed on IDEAS
    5. Barbara L. Wolfe & Robert H. Haveman, 2002. "Social and nonmarket benefits from education in an advanced economy," Conference Series ; [Proceedings], Federal Reserve Bank of Boston, vol. 47(Jun), pages 97-142.

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