Encyclopedia of Law and Economics

Living Edition
| Editors: Alain Marciano, Giovanni Battista Ramello

Crime (Unemployment and)

Living reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-1-4614-7883-6_684-1

Definition

Crime is one of the most important social issues citizens are concerned about. As such, it has received a good deal of attention from policymakers and scholars across fields such as criminology, economics, law, psychology, and sociology. Crime is partly motivated by economic conditions, and a large body of research has studied the relationship between economic factors, particularly unemployment, and crime for more than 50 years. Available evidence shows that the relationship is ambiguous, and it is an actively researched topic.

Introduction

Crime was first analyzed by economists in the late 1960s and early 1970s (e.g., Becker 1968; Ehrlich 1973). The analysis is based on the cost and benefit of crime. The cost to an individual who commits property crime is the lost legitimate incomes and the penalties when crime is caught, and the stolen properties and incomes constitute the benefit (see Anderson 2017for a general discussion of the cost). The individual then compares the...

Keywords

Europe Income Malaysia Kelly Lost 
This is a preview of subscription content, log in to check access

References

  1. Altindag DT (2012) Crime and unemployment: evidence from Europe. Int Rev Law Econ 32:145–157CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Anderson D (2017) Cost of crime. In: Marciano A, Ramello G (eds) Encyclopedia of law and economics. Springer, New York. forthcomingGoogle Scholar
  3. Baker M (2017) Crime (organized) and the law. In: Marciano A, Ramello G (eds) Encyclopedia of law and economics. Springer, New York. forthcomingGoogle Scholar
  4. Baron SW (2008) Street youth, unemployment, and crime: is it that simple? Using general strain theory to untangle the relationship 1. Can J Criminol Crim Justice 50:399–434CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Becker GS (1968) Crime and punishment: an economic approach. J Polit Econ 73:169–217CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Blumstein A, Wallman J (2006) The crime drop and beyond. Ann Rev Law Soc Sci 2:125–146CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Brush J (2007) Does income inequality lead to more crime? A comparison of cross-sectional and time-series analyses of United States counties. Econ Lett 96:264–268CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Carmichael F, Ward R (2001) Male unemployment and crime in England and Wales. Econ Lett 73:111–115CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Chiricos T (1987) Rates of crime and unemployment: an analysis of aggregate research evidence. Soc Probl 34:187–212CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Edmark K (2005) Unemployment and crime: is there a connection? Scand J Econ 107:353–373CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. Ehrlich I (1973) Participation in illegitimate activities: a theoretical and empirical investigation. J Polit Econ 81:521–565CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. Entorf H, Spengler H (2000) Socioeconomic and economic factors of crime in Germany: evidence from panel data of the Germany states. Int Rev Law Econ 20:75–106CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. Fleisher BM (1963) The effect of unemployment on juvenile delinquency. J Polit Econ 71:543–555CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. Fougère D, Kramarz F, Pouget J (2009) Youth unemployment and crime in France. J Eur Econ Assoc 7:909–938CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. Freeman RB (1983) Crime and unemployment. In: Wilson JQ (ed) Crime and public policy. Institute for Contemporary Studies Press, San Francisco, pp 89–106Google Scholar
  16. Freeman RB (1995) The labor market. In: Wilson J, Petersilia J (eds) Crime: public policies for crime control. Institute for Contemporary Studies Press, San Francisco, pp 171–192Google Scholar
  17. Gould E, Weinberg B, Mustard D (2002) Crime rates and local labor market opportunities in the United States: 1979–1997. Rev Econ Stat 84:45–61CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. Hojman DE (2004) Inequality, unemployment and crime in Latin American cities. Crime Law Soc Chang 41:33–51CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. Kelly M (2000) Inequality and crime. Rev Econ Stat 82:530–539CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. Lee K (2016) Unemployment and crime: the role of apprehension. Eur J Law Econ. Forthcoming. doi:10.1007/s10657-016-9526-3Google Scholar
  21. Leroch M (2017) Crime (expressive) and the law. In: Marciano A, Ramello G (eds) Encyclopedia of law and economics. Springer, New York. forthcomingGoogle Scholar
  22. Levitt SD (2004) Understanding why crime fell in the 1990s: four factors that explain the decline and six that do not. J Econ Perspect 18:163–190CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. Lin M-J (2008) Does unemployment increase crime? Evidence from U.S. data 1974–2000. J Hum Resour 43:413–436CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. Long SK, Witte AD (1981) Current economic trends: implications for crime and criminal justice. In: Wright KD (ed) Crime and criminal justice in a declining economy. Oelgeschlager, Gunn and Hain, Cambridge, MA, pp 69–143Google Scholar
  25. Machin S, Meghir C (2004) Crime and economic incentives. J Hum Resour 39:958–979CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  26. Narayan PK, Smyth R (2004) Crime rates, male youth unemployment and real income in Australia: evidence from Granger causality tests. Appl Econ 36:2079–2095CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  27. Papps K, Winkelmann R (2000) Unemployment and crime: new evidence for an old question. N Z Econ Pap 34:53–71Google Scholar
  28. Prescott JJ (2017) Criminal sanction and deterrence. In: Marciano A, Ramello G (eds) Encyclopedia of law and economics. Springer, New York. forthcomingGoogle Scholar
  29. Pyne D (2017) Crime (incentive to). In: Marciano A, Ramello G (eds) Encyclopedia of law and economics. Springer, New York. forthcomingGoogle Scholar
  30. Raphael S, Winter-Ebmer R (2001) Identifying the effect of unemployment on crime. J Law Econ 44:259–283CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  31. Tang CF (2011) An exploration of dynamic relationship between tourist arrivals, inflation, unemployment and crime rates in Malaysia. Int J Soc Econ 38:50–69CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  32. Wang X, Mears DP, Bales WD (2010) Race-specific employment contexts and recidivism. Criminology 48:1171–1211CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  33. Wolpin KI (1980) A time series-cross section analysis of international variation in crime and punishment. Rev Econ Stat 62:417–423CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  34. Wu D, Wu Z (2012) Crime, inequality and unemployment in England and Wales. Appl Econ 44:3765–3775CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media LLC 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of EconomicsSan Diego State UniversitySan DiegoUSA