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The Impact of Social Capital on Crime: Evidence from the Netherlands

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  • Akçomak, Semih

    (UNU-MERIT)

  • Weel, Bas ter

    (CPB Netherlands Bureau for Economic Policy Analysis)

Abstract

This paper investigates the relation between social capital and crime. The analysis contributes to explaining why crime is so heterogeneous across space. By employing current and historical data for Dutch municipalities and by providing novel indicators to measure social capital, we find a link between social capital and crime. Our results suggest that higher levels of social capital are associated with lower crime rates and that municipalities’ historical states in terms of population heterogeneity, religiosity and education affect current levels of social capital. Social capital indicators explain about 10 percent of the observed variance in crime. It is also shown why some social capital indicators are more useful than others in a robustness analysis.

Suggested Citation

  • Akçomak, Semih & Weel, Bas ter, 2008. "The Impact of Social Capital on Crime: Evidence from the Netherlands," MERIT Working Papers 2008-042, United Nations University - Maastricht Economic and Social Research Institute on Innovation and Technology (MERIT).
  • Handle: RePEc:unm:unumer:2008042
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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Social capital; Crime; the Netherlands;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • A13 - General Economics and Teaching - - General Economics - - - Relation of Economics to Social Values
    • A14 - General Economics and Teaching - - General Economics - - - Sociology of Economics
    • K42 - Law and Economics - - Legal Procedure, the Legal System, and Illegal Behavior - - - Illegal Behavior and the Enforcement of Law
    • Z13 - Other Special Topics - - Cultural Economics - - - Economic Sociology; Economic Anthropology; Language; Social and Economic Stratification

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