DP7467 Unemployment and Right-wing Extremist Crime

Author(s): Armin Falk, Andreas Kuhn, Josef Zweimüller
Publication Date: September 2009
Keyword(s): cost of unemployment, Hate crime, right-wing extremism, unemployment
JEL(s): J15, J69, K42
Programme Areas: Labour Economics
Link to this Page: cepr.org/active/publications/discussion_papers/dp.php?dpno=7467

It is frequently argued that unemployment plays a crucial role for the occurrence of right-wing extremist crimes. We empirically test this hypothesis using data from Germany. We find that right-wing criminal activities occur more frequently when unemployment is high. The big difference in right-wing crime between 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 right-wing crime and questions explanations based solely on the different socialization in former communist East Germany and the liberal West German states.