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Unemployment and Crime: Is There a Connection?

Karin Edmark
The Scandinavian Journal of Economics
Vol. 107, No. 2 (Jun., 2005), pp. 353-373
Published by: Wiley on behalf of The Scandinavian Journal of Economics
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/3441110
Page Count: 21
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Unemployment and Crime: Is There a Connection?
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Abstract

A panel of Swedish counties over the years 1988-1999 is used to study the effects of unemployment on property crime rates. The period under study is characterized by turbulence in the labor market-the variation in unemployment rates was unprecedented in the latter part of the century. Hence, the data provide a unique opportunity to examine unemployment effects. According to the theory of economics of crime, increased unemployment rates lead to higher property crime rates. A fixed-efects model is estimated to investigate this hypothesis. The model includes time- and county-specific effects and a number of economic and socio-demographic variables to control for unobservables and covariates. The results show that unemployment had a positive and significant effect on some property crimes (burglary, car theft and bike theft).

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