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Black-White Labour Market Conditions and Property Crime in the US: A Quantitative Analysis


  • Marco Cozzi

    () (Economics University College London and UPENN)


This paper develops a dynamic general equilibrium model to identify the impact of worse labour market conditions on the property crimes involvement of black American males. The related empirical evidence unambiguously shows higher participation in crime for black than for white males. In 1996, for example, the property crimes arrest rate by race (per 1.000 people) was equal to 6,43 for Whites and 18,3 for Blacks. Another set of stylised facts show for the same racial group worse labour market performances, with the African Americans supplying less hours of labour, gaining lower wages, experiencing both higher unemployment duration and rates. The theoretical model exploits the latter source of information to quantitatively assess the differences in crime induced by the different labour market outcomes. An infinitely lived agents model is developed, allowing for agents to be heterogeneous along four dimensions: race (synthesised by the labour market opportunities), education, employment status and asset holdings. The model is calibrated relying on US data and solved numerically. Preliminary results show that the observed labour market outcomes fully account for the substantial differences in the crime behaviours of the two racial groups. The model is in turn used both to understand to what extent the patterns in the race wage differentials can explain the observed decrease in the black labour supply and to compare some policy experiments aimed at reducing the aggregate crime rate

Suggested Citation

  • Marco Cozzi, 2005. "Black-White Labour Market Conditions and Property Crime in the US: A Quantitative Analysis," Computing in Economics and Finance 2005 339, Society for Computational Economics.
  • Handle: RePEc:sce:scecf5:339

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Alfonso Novales & Emilio Dominguez & Javier J. Perez & Jesus Ruiz, 1998. "Solving Non-linear Rational Expectations Models By Eigenvalue-Eigenvector Decompositions," QM&RBC Codes 124, Quantitative Macroeconomics & Real Business Cycles.
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    Cited by:

    1. John T. Addison & Paulino Teixeira & Katalin Evers & Lutz Bellmann, 2015. "Collective Bargaining and Innovation," Working Paper series 15-07, Rimini Centre for Economic Analysis.
    2. 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.
    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.

    More about this item


    Property crimes; Race; Unemployment; Wealth Inequality.;

    JEL classification:

    • K42 - Law and Economics - - Legal Procedure, the Legal System, and Illegal Behavior - - - Illegal Behavior and the Enforcement of Law
    • D58 - Microeconomics - - General Equilibrium and Disequilibrium - - - Computable and Other Applied General Equilibrium Models
    • D99 - Microeconomics - - Micro-Based Behavioral Economics - - - Other
    • J15 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Economics of Minorities, Races, Indigenous Peoples, and Immigrants; Non-labor Discrimination

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