DP14947 Unemployment and Crime Victimization: a Local Approach

Author(s): Camille Hémet
Publication Date: June 2020
Keyword(s): crime victimization, neighborhood effects, unemployment
JEL(s): J64, K42, R23
Programme Areas: International Trade and Regional Economics
Link to this Page: cepr.org/active/publications/discussion_papers/dp.php?dpno=14947

This paper explores the relationship between unemployment rate and crime victimization at the neighborhood level, using data from the French victimization survey. The very local nature of the data enables me to tackle the endogenous location selection issue: once I control for the characteristics of a larger area into which household select their location, the remaining variation of observables across neighborhoods within this larger area can be considered as exogenous. The contribution of this paper to the economics of crime literature is then twofold. First, I show that, at the very local neighborhood level, unemployment rate is an important factor explaining victimization. Second, I take advantage of the precise localization of the data to compare the effect of unemployment rate in the reference neighborhood and in adjacent neighborhoods. The results support the idea that criminals are mobile across neighborhoods for more serious economic crimes, but that petty crimes and vandalism do not involve any mobility.