European Journal of Law and Economics

, Volume 36, Issue 1, pp 183–207 | Cite as

Does more crime mean fewer jobs and less economic growth?

  • Claudio Detotto
  • Manuela Pulina


This paper employs an Autoregressive Distributed Lags approach to investigate how a set of economic variables and a deterrence variable affect criminal activity. Furthermore, it highlights the extent to which crime is detrimental to economic activity. The case study is Italy for the time span 1970 up to 2004. A Granger causality test is implemented to establish temporal interrelationships. The empirical evidence shows that the lack of deterrence positively affects each type of crime and especially thefts. All crime typologies have a negative effect on legal economic activity, reducing the employment rate. Furthermore, homicides, robbery, extortion and kidnapping have a crowding-out effect on economic growth.


Crime Deterrence Economic variables Crowding-out effect 

JEL Classification

K14 C32 E24 


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Economics and Business (DiSEA)University of Sassari and Centre for North South Economic Research (CRENoS)SassariItaly

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