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Abstract for:

Down and Out in Italian Towns: Measuring the Impact of Economic Downturns on Crime

Carlo  Menon,  Guido  de Blasio,  June 2013
Paper No' SECDP0137: | Full paper (pdf)
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Keywords: crime, economic crises, Italy

JEL Classification: K14; K42; E32

Is hard copy/paper copy available? YES - Paper Copy Still In Print.
This Paper is published under the following series: SERC Discussion Papers
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Abstract:

The paper investigates the effect of local economic conditions on crime. The study focuses on Italy’s local labor markets and analyzes the short-term response of crime to the severe slump of 2007-2009. It shows that the downturn led to a significant increase in economic-related offenses that do not require particular criminal skills or tools (namely, thefts); on the other hand, for offenses for which specific skills and criminal experience are essential (say, robberies) the impact of the crisis was negative. The results also suggest that: i) labor market institutions (i.e. wage supplementary schemes and pro-worker contractual arrangements) had a role in slowing down the effect of the economy on crime; ii) the link between the downturn and crime was weaker in areas where the presence of organized crime is relatively more intensive.