IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/p/pri/esocpu/14.html
   My bibliography  Save this paper

Formal Employment and Organized Crime: Regression Discontinuity Evidence from Colombia

Author

Listed:
  • Gaurav Khanna

    (University of California San Diego)

  • Carlos Medina

    (Banco de la Republica de Colombia)

  • Anant Nyshadham,

    (Boston College & NBER)

  • Jorge Tamayo

    (Harvard University. Harvard Business School,)

Abstract

Canonical models of crime emphasize economic incentives. Yet, causal evidence of sorting into criminal occupations in response to individual-level variation in incentives is limited. We link administrative socioeconomic microdata with the universe of arrests in Medellίn over a decade. We exploit exogenous variation in formal-sector employment around a socioeconomic-score cutoff, below which individuals receive benefits if not formally employed, to test whether a higher cost to formal-sector employment induces crime. Regression discontinuity estimates show this policy generated reductions in formal-sector employment and a corresponding spike in organized crime, but no effects on crimes of impulse or opportunity.

Suggested Citation

  • Gaurav Khanna & Carlos Medina & Anant Nyshadham, & Jorge Tamayo, 2019. "Formal Employment and Organized Crime: Regression Discontinuity Evidence from Colombia," Empirical Studies of Conflict Project (ESOC) Working Papers 14, Empirical Studies of Conflict Project.
  • Handle: RePEc:pri:esocpu:14
    as

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL: https://esoc.princeton.edu/publications/esoc-working-paper-14-formal-employment-and-organized-crime-regression-discontinuity
    Download Restriction: no
    ---><---

    Other versions of this item:

    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Bart H.H. Golsteyn & Hans Grönqvist & Lena Lindahl, 2014. "Adolescent Time Preferences Predict Lifetime Outcomes," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 124(580), pages 739-761, November.
    2. Joseph J. Doyle Jr., 2007. "Child Protection and Child Outcomes: Measuring the Effects of Foster Care," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 97(5), pages 1583-1610, December.
    3. Manudeep Bhuller & Gordon B. Dahl & Katrine V. Løken & Magne Mogstad, 2020. "Incarceration, Recidivism, and Employment," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 128(4), pages 1269-1324.
    4. Jeffrey R. Kling, 2006. "Incarceration Length, Employment, and Earnings," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 96(3), pages 863-876, June.
    5. Leo Feler & Mine Z. Senses, 2017. "Trade Shocks and the Provision of Local Public Goods," American Economic Journal: Economic Policy, American Economic Association, vol. 9(4), pages 101-143, November.
    6. Jeffrey R. Kling & Jens Ludwig & Lawrence F. Katz, 2005. "Neighborhood Effects on Crime for Female and Male Youth: Evidence from a Randomized Housing Voucher Experiment," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 120(1), pages 87-130.
    7. Ariaster B. Chimeli & Rodrigo R. Soares, 2017. "The Use of Violence in Illegal Markets: Evidence from Mahogany Trade in the Brazilian Amazon," American Economic Journal: Applied Economics, American Economic Association, vol. 9(4), pages 30-57, October.
    8. Leonardo Fabio Morales & Carlos Medina, 2017. "Assessing the Effect of Payroll Taxes on Formal Employment: The Case of the 2012 Tax Reform in Colombia," Economía Journal, The Latin American and Caribbean Economic Association - LACEA, vol. 0(Fall 2017), pages 75-124, November.
    9. Carlos Medina & Jorge Andrés Tamayo, 2011. "An Assessment of How Urban Crime and Victimization Affects Life Satisfaction," Borradores de Economia 640, Banco de la Republica de Colombia.
    10. Raphael, Steven & Winter-Ember, Rudolf, 2001. "Identifying the Effect of Unemployment on Crime," Journal of Law and Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 44(1), pages 259-283, April.
    11. Adriana Kugler & Maurice Kugler & Luis Omar Herrera Prada, 2017. "Do Payroll Tax Breaks Stimulate Formality? Evidence from Colombia’s Reform," NBER Working Papers 23308, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    12. Cortés, Darwin & Santamaría, Julieth & Vargas, Juan F., 2016. "Economic shocks and crime: Evidence from the crash of Ponzi schemes," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 131(PA), pages 263-275.
    13. Benjamin A. Olken & Rohini Pande, 2012. "Corruption in Developing Countries," Annual Review of Economics, Annual Reviews, vol. 4(1), pages 479-509, July.
    14. 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.
    15. Rafael Di Tella & Sebastian Edwards & Ernesto Schargrodsky, 2010. "The Economics of Crime: Lessons for and from Latin America," NBER Books, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc, number dite09-1, January-J.
    16. Paolo Pinotti, 2017. "Clicking on Heaven's Door: The Effect of Immigrant Legalization on Crime," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 107(1), pages 138-168, January.
    17. Rafael Di Tella & Ernesto Schargrodsky, 2013. "Criminal Recidivism after Prison and Electronic Monitoring," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 121(1), pages 28-73.
    18. Christopher Blattman & Donald P Green & Daniel Ortega & Santiago Tobón, 2021. "Place-Based Interventions at Scale: The Direct and Spillover Effects of Policing and City Services on Crime [Clustering as a Design Problem]," Journal of the European Economic Association, European Economic Association, vol. 19(4), pages 2022-2051.
    19. Adriana Kugler & Maurice Kugler, 2009. "Labor Market Effects of Payroll Taxes in Developing Countries: Evidence from Colombia," Economic Development and Cultural Change, University of Chicago Press, vol. 57(2), pages 335-358, January.
    20. Giulio Fella & Giovanni Gallipoli, 2014. "Education and Crime over the Life Cycle," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 81(4), pages 1484-1517.
    21. Dean Yang, 2008. "Can Enforcement Backfire? Crime Displacement in the Context of Customs Reform in the Philippines," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 90(1), pages 1-14, February.
    22. repec:eee:labchp:v:3:y:1999:i:pc:p:3529-3571 is not listed on IDEAS
    23. McCrary, Justin, 2008. "Manipulation of the running variable in the regression discontinuity design: A density test," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 142(2), pages 698-714, February.
    24. Lance Lochner & Enrico Moretti, 2004. "The Effect of Education on Crime: Evidence from Prison Inmates, Arrests, and Self-Reports," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 94(1), pages 155-189, March.
    25. Julie Berry Cullen & Brian A Jacob & Steven Levitt, 2006. "The Effect of School Choice on Participants: Evidence from Randomized Lotteries," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 74(5), pages 1191-1230, September.
    26. Chioda, Laura & De Mello, João M.P. & Soares, Rodrigo R., 2016. "Spillovers from conditional cash transfer programs: Bolsa Família and crime in urban Brazil," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 54(C), pages 306-320.
    27. Claudio Ferraz & Frederico Finan, 2008. "Exposing Corrupt Politicians: The Effects of Brazil's Publicly Released Audits on Electoral Outcomes," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 123(2), pages 703-745.
    28. Ming-Jen Lin, 2008. "Does Unemployment Increase Crime?: Evidence from U.S. Data 1974–2000," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 43(2), pages 413-436.
    29. Claudio Ferraz & Frederico Finan, 2011. "Electoral Accountability and Corruption: Evidence from the Audits of Local Governments," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 101(4), pages 1274-1311, June.
    30. Mirko Draca & Stephen Machin, 2015. "Crime and Economic Incentives," Annual Review of Economics, Annual Reviews, vol. 7(1), pages 389-408, August.
    31. Orazio Attanasio & Arlen Guarín & Carlos Medina & Costas Meghir, 2017. "Vocational Training for Disadvantaged Youth in Colombia: A Long-Term Follow-Up," American Economic Journal: Applied Economics, American Economic Association, vol. 9(2), pages 131-143, April.
    32. Amanda Y. Agan & Michael D. Makowsky, 2018. "The Minimum Wage, EITC, and Criminal Recidivism," NBER Working Papers 25116, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    33. Jeffrey Grogger, 1995. "The Effect of Arrests on the Employment and Earnings of Young Men," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 110(1), pages 51-71.
    34. Cristina Fernandez & Leonardo Villar, 2017. "The Impact of Lowering the Payroll Tax on Informality in Colombia," Economía Journal, The Latin American and Caribbean Economic Association - LACEA, vol. 0(Fall 2017), pages 125-155, November.
    35. Anna Piil Damm & Christian Dustmann, 2014. "Does Growing Up in a High Crime Neighborhood Affect Youth Criminal Behavior?," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 104(6), pages 1806-1832, June.
    36. Robert T. Greenbaum & George E. Tita, 2004. "The Impact of Violence Surges on Neighbourhood Business Activity," Urban Studies, Urban Studies Journal Limited, vol. 41(13), pages 2495-2514, December.
    37. Grogger, Jeff, 1998. "Market Wages and Youth Crime," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 16(4), pages 756-791, October.
    38. Rafael Dix-Carneiro & Rodrigo R. Soares & Gabriel Ulyssea, 2018. "Economic Shocks and Crime: Evidence from the Brazilian Trade Liberalization," American Economic Journal: Applied Economics, American Economic Association, vol. 10(4), pages 158-195, October.
    39. Lott, John R, Jr, 1992. "An Attempt at Measuring the Total Monetary Penalty from Drug Convictions: The Importance of an Individual's Reputation," The Journal of Legal Studies, University of Chicago Press, vol. 21(1), pages 159-187, January.
    40. Mauricio Santa María S. & Fabián García A. & Ana Virgina Mujica P., 2009. "Los costos no laborales y el mercado laboral : impacto de la reforma de salud en Colombia," Working Papers Series. Documentos de Trabajo 009186, Fedesarrollo.
    41. Adriana Camacho & Emily Conover & Alejandro Hoyos, 2014. "Effects of Colombia's Social Protection System on Workers' Choice between Formal and Informal Employment," The World Bank Economic Review, World Bank Group, vol. 28(3), pages 446-466.
    42. Patrick Bennett & Amine Ouazad, 2020. "Job Displacement, Unemployment, and Crime: Evidence from Danish Microdata and Reforms [The Link between Human Capital, Mass Layoffs, and Firm Deaths]," Journal of the European Economic Association, European Economic Association, vol. 18(5), pages 2182-2220.
    43. Cullen, Julie Berry & Jacob, Brian A. & Levitt, Steven D., 2005. "The impact of school choice on student outcomes: an analysis of the Chicago Public Schools," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 89(5-6), pages 729-760, June.
    44. Keith R. Ihlanfeldt, 2007. "Neighborhood Drug Crime and Young Males' Job Accessibility," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 89(1), pages 151-164, February.
    45. Stefano DellaVigna & M. Daniele Paserman, 2005. "Job Search and Impatience," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 23(3), pages 527-588, July.
    46. Caroline Doyle, 2016. "Explaining Patterns of Urban Violence in Medellin, Colombia," Laws, MDPI, vol. 5(1), pages 1-17, February.
    47. Julie Berry Cullen & Steven D. Levitt, 1999. "Crime, Urban Flight, And The Consequences For Cities," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 81(2), pages 159-169, May.
    48. Guido Imbens & Karthik Kalyanaraman, 2012. "Optimal Bandwidth Choice for the Regression Discontinuity Estimator," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 79(3), pages 933-959.
    49. Melissa Dell & Benjamin Feigenberg & Kensuke Teshima, 2019. "The Violent Consequences of Trade-Induced Worker Displacement in Mexico," American Economic Review: Insights, American Economic Association, vol. 1(1), pages 43-58, June.
    50. Hahn, Jinyong & Todd, Petra & Van der Klaauw, Wilbert, 2001. "Identification and Estimation of Treatment Effects with a Regression-Discontinuity Design," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 69(1), pages 201-209, January.
    51. C. Fritz Foley, 2011. "Welfare Payments and Crime," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 93(1), pages 97-112, February.
    52. Lance Lochner, 2004. "Education, Work, And Crime: A Human Capital Approach," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 45(3), pages 811-843, August.
    53. Entorf, Horst & Spengler, Hannes, 2000. "Socioeconomic and demographic factors of crime in Germany: Evidence from panel data of the German states," International Review of Law and Economics, Elsevier, vol. 20(1), pages 75-106, March.
    54. Denis Fougère & Francis Kramarz & Julien Pouget, 2009. "Youth Unemployment and Crime in France," Journal of the European Economic Association, MIT Press, vol. 7(5), pages 909-938, September.
    55. Peter Z. Schochet & John Burghardt & Sheena McConnell, 2008. "Does Job Corps Work? Impact Findings from the National Job Corps Study," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 98(5), pages 1864-1886, December.
    56. Jeffrey R Kling & Jeffrey B Liebman & Lawrence F Katz, 2007. "Experimental Analysis of Neighborhood Effects," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 75(1), pages 83-119, January.
    57. repec:mpr:mprres:6097 is not listed on IDEAS
    58. Nikita Melnikov & Carlos Schmidt-Padilla & Maria Micaela Sviatschi, 2020. "Gangs, Labor Mobility and Development," NBER Working Papers 27832, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    59. Adriana D. Kugler & Maurice D. Kugler & Luis O. Herrera-Prada, 2017. "Do Payroll Tax Breaks Stimulate Formality? Evidence from Colombia’s Reform," Economía Journal, The Latin American and Caribbean Economic Association - LACEA, vol. 0(Fall 2017), pages 3-40, November.
    60. Cornwell, Christopher & Trumbull, William N, 1994. "Estimating the Economic Model of Crime with Panel Data," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 76(2), pages 360-366, May.
    61. Paolo Pinotti, 2015. "The Economic Costs of Organised Crime: Evidence from Southern Italy," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 125(586), pages 203-232, August.
    62. Eric D. Gould & Bruce A. Weinberg & David B. Mustard, 2002. "Crime Rates And Local Labor Market Opportunities In The United States: 1979-1997," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 84(1), pages 45-61, February.
    63. Ehrlich, Isaac, 1973. "Participation in Illegitimate Activities: A Theoretical and Empirical Investigation," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 81(3), pages 521-565, May-June.
    64. Freeman, Richard B., 1999. "The economics of crime," Handbook of Labor Economics, in: O. Ashenfelter & D. Card (ed.), Handbook of Labor Economics, edition 1, volume 3, chapter 52, pages 3529-3571, Elsevier.
    65. Mustard, David B., 2010. "How Do Labor Markets Affect Crime? New Evidence on an Old Puzzle," IZA Discussion Papers 4856, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).
    66. Adriana Camacho & Emily Conover, 2011. "Manipulation of Social Program Eligibility," American Economic Journal: Economic Policy, American Economic Association, vol. 3(2), pages 41-65, May.
    67. Christopher Blattman & Jeannie Annan, 2015. "Can Employment Reduce Lawlessness and Rebellion? A Field Experiment with High-Risk Men in a Fragile State," NBER Working Papers 21289, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    Citations

    Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.
    as


    Cited by:

    1. Gaurav Khanna & Carlos Medina & Anant Nyshadham & Christian Posso & Jorge Tamayo, 2021. "Job Loss, Credit, and Crime in Colombia," American Economic Review: Insights, American Economic Association, vol. 3(1), pages 97-114, March.
    2. Roxana Manea & Patrizio Piraino & Martina Viarengo, 2021. "Crime, Inequality and Subsidized Housing: Evidence from South Africa," CESifo Working Paper Series 8914, CESifo.
    3. Garg, Teevrat & McCord, Gordon C. & Montfort, Aleister, 2020. "Can Social Protection Reduce Environmental Damages?," IZA Discussion Papers 13247, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).
    4. Blattman, Christopher & Lessing, Benjamin & Tobon, Santiago & Duncan, Gustavo, 2021. "Gang rule: Understanding and Countering Criminal Governance," SocArXiv 5nyqs, Center for Open Science.

    Most related items

    These are the items that most often cite the same works as this one and are cited by the same works as this one.
    1. Mustard, David B., 2010. "How Do Labor Markets Affect Crime? New Evidence on an Old Puzzle," IZA Discussion Papers 4856, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).
    2. Deiana, C, 2016. "Local Labour Market Effects of Unemployment on Crime Induced by Trade Shocks," Economics Discussion Papers 16529, University of Essex, Department of Economics.
    3. Denis Fougère & Francis Kramarz & Julien Pouget, 2009. "Youth Unemployment and Crime in France," Journal of the European Economic Association, MIT Press, vol. 7(5), pages 909-938, September.
    4. Lastauskas, Povilas & Tatsi, Eirini, 2017. "Spatial Nexus in Crime and Unemployment in Times of Crisis," Working Paper Series 2/2017, Stockholm University, Swedish Institute for Social Research.
    5. Ferraz, Eduardo & Soares, Rodrigo R. & Vargas, Juan, 2021. "Unbundling the Relationship between Economic Shocks and Crime," IZA Discussion Papers 14954, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).
    6. Patrick Bennett & Amine Ouazad, 2020. "Job Displacement, Unemployment, and Crime: Evidence from Danish Microdata and Reforms [The Link between Human Capital, Mass Layoffs, and Firm Deaths]," Journal of the European Economic Association, European Economic Association, vol. 18(5), pages 2182-2220.
    7. David B. Mustard, 2010. "Labor Markets and Crime: New Evidence on an Old Puzzle," Chapters, in: Bruce L. Benson & Paul R. Zimmerman (ed.), Handbook on the Economics of Crime, chapter 14, Edward Elgar Publishing.
    8. Altindag, Duha T., 2012. "Crime and unemployment: Evidence from Europe," International Review of Law and Economics, Elsevier, vol. 32(1), pages 145-157.
    9. Diogo G. C. Britto & Paolo Pinotti & Breno Sampaio, 2022. "The Effect of Job Loss and Unemployment Insurance on Crime in Brazil," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 90(4), pages 1393-1423, July.
    10. Corvalan, Alejandro & Pazzona, Matteo, 2019. "Persistent commodity shocks and transitory crime effects," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 158(C), pages 110-127.
    11. Magaly Faride Herrera Giraldo & Carlos Giovanni González Espitia, 2022. "Understanding the Spatial Relationship Between the Informal Labor Market and Violent Crime in Cali, Colombia," Icesi Economics Working Papers 020344, Universidad Icesi.
    12. Nordin , Martin, 2014. "Does Eligibility for Tertiary Education Affect Crime Rates? Quasi-Experimental Evidence," Working Papers 2014:14, Lund University, Department of Economics.
    13. Williams, Geoffrey Fain, 2015. "Property crime: Investigating career patterns and earnings," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 119(C), pages 124-138.
    14. Grönqvist, Hans & Niknami, Susan & Robling, P-O, 2015. "Childhood Exposure to Segregation and Long-Run Criminal Involvement - Evidence from the “Whole of Sweden” Strategy#," Working Paper Series 1/2015, Stockholm University, Swedish Institute for Social Research.
    15. Povilas Lastauskas & Eirini Tatsi, 2013. "Spatial Nexus in Crime and unemployment in Times of crisis: Evidence from Germany," Cambridge Working Papers in Economics 1359, Faculty of Economics, University of Cambridge.
    16. Siwach, Garima, 2018. "Unemployment shocks for individuals on the margin: Exploring recidivism effects," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 52(C), pages 231-244.
    17. Roberto Galbiati & Aurélie Ouss & Arnaud Philippe, 2015. "Jobs, News and Re-offending after Incarceration," Sciences Po publications 41, Sciences Po.
    18. Yu Aoki & Theodore Koutmeridis, 2019. "Shaking Criminal Incentives," Working Papers 2019-13, Business School - Economics, University of Glasgow.
    19. Bindler, Anna, 2016. "Still unemployed, what next? Crime and unemployment duration," Working Papers in Economics 660, University of Gothenburg, Department of Economics.
    20. O’Flaherty, Brendan & Sethi, Rajiv, 2015. "Urban Crime," Handbook of Regional and Urban Economics, in: Gilles Duranton & J. V. Henderson & William C. Strange (ed.), Handbook of Regional and Urban Economics, edition 1, volume 5, chapter 0, pages 1519-1621, Elsevier.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Colombia; organized crime; informality; occupational choice; gangs; Medellίn;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • K42 - Law and Economics - - Legal Procedure, the Legal System, and Illegal Behavior - - - Illegal Behavior and the Enforcement of Law
    • J46 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Particular Labor Markets - - - Informal Labor Market
    • J24 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - Human Capital; Skills; Occupational Choice; Labor Productivity

    NEP fields

    This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:

    Statistics

    Access and download statistics

    Corrections

    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:pri:esocpu:14. 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: . General contact details of provider: https://esoc.princeton.edu/ .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    If CitEc recognized a bibliographic reference but did not link an item in RePEc to it, you can help with this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: Bobray Bordelon (email available below). General contact details of provider: https://esoc.princeton.edu/ .

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.