EXAMINING THE GENERALITY OF THE UNEMPLOYMENT–CRIME ASSOCIATION

Authors


Direct correspondence to Mikko Aaltonen, National Research Institute of Legal Policy Criminological Unit, P.O. Box 444 (Pitkansillanranta 3 a), 00531 Helsinki, Finland (e-mail: mikko.e.aaltonen@om.fi).

Abstract

This article examines whether the relationship between unemployment and criminal offending depends on the type of crime analyzed. We rely on fixed-effects regression models to assess the association between changes in unemployment status and changes in violent crime, property crime, and driving under the influence (DUI) over a 6-year period. We also examine whether the type of unemployment benefit received moderates the link to criminal behavior. We find significantly positive effects of unemployment on property crime but not on other types of crime. Our estimates also suggest that unemployed young males commit less crime while participating in active labor market programs when compared with periods during which they receive standard unemployment benefits.

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