Youth Unemployment and Crime in France

42 Pages Posted: 13 Mar 2006

See all articles by Denis Fougère

Denis Fougère

CNRS and SCIENCES PO PARIS; National Center for Scientific Research (CNRS); IZA Institute of Labor Economics; Centre for Economic Policy Research (CEPR)

Francis Kramarz

Independent

Julien Pouget

National Institute of Statistics and Economic Studies (INSEE); National Center for Scientific Research (CNRS); IZA Institute of Labor Economics

Multiple version iconThere are 2 versions of this paper

Date Written: March 2006

Abstract

In this paper we examine the influence of unemployment on property crimes and on violent crimes in France for the period 1990 to 2000. This analysis is the first extensive study for this country. We construct a regional-level data set (for the 95 departements of metropolitan France) with measures of crimes as reported to the Ministry of Interior. To assess social conditions prevailing in the departement in that year, we construct measures of the unemployment rate as well as other social, economic and demographic variables using multiple waves of the French Labor Survey. We estimate a classic Becker type model in which unemployment is a measure of how potential criminals fare in the legitimate job market. First, our estimates show that in the cross-section dimension, crime and unemployment are positively associated. Second, we find that increases in youth unemployment induce increases in crime. Using the predicted industrial structure to instrument unemployment, we show that this effect is causal for burglaries, thefts, and drug offences. To combat crime, it appears thus that all strategies designed to combat youth unemployment should be examined.

Keywords: crime, youth unemployment

JEL Classification: J19, K42, J64, J65

Suggested Citation

Fougere, Denis and Kramarz, Francis and Pouget, Julien, Youth Unemployment and Crime in France (March 2006). IZA Discussion Paper No. 2009, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=890289

Denis Fougere (Contact Author)

CNRS and SCIENCES PO PARIS ( email )

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National Center for Scientific Research (CNRS)

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IZA Institute of Labor Economics

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Centre for Economic Policy Research (CEPR) ( email )

London
United Kingdom

Francis Kramarz

Independent

Julien Pouget

National Institute of Statistics and Economic Studies (INSEE) ( email )

18, Boulevard Adolphe-Pinard
75675 Paris Cedex 14
France

National Center for Scientific Research (CNRS)

3, rue Michel-Ange
Paris cedex 16, 75794
France

IZA Institute of Labor Economics

P.O. Box 7240
Bonn, D-53072
Germany

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