It is frequently argued that unemployment plays a crucial role in the occurrence of right-wing extremist crimes (RECs). We test this hypothesis empirically using data from Germany. We find that right-wing criminal activities occur more frequently when unemployment is high. The substantial difference in the numbers of RECs occurring in the East and West German states can mostly be attributed to differences in unemployment. This finding reinforces the importance of unemployment as an explanatory factor for RECs, and it questions explanations based solely on the different socialization in former communist East Germany and the liberal West German states.
The Scandinavian Journal of Economics, which first appeared in 1899 as Ekonomisk Tidskrift and is now in its 108th year, publishes research of the highest scientific quality from Nordic and international contributors in all areas of economics. It offers articles and empirical studies on economic theory and policy, annual comprehensive surveys of the the contributions to economics of the recipients of the Alfred Nobel Memorial Prize in economics, and special issues on key topics in economics.
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