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Crime and benefit sanctions

Machin, Stephen and Marie, Olivier (2004) Crime and benefit sanctions. CEPDP, 645. Centre for Economic Performance, London School of Economics and Political Science, London, UK. ISBN 075301775X

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Abstract

In this paper we look at the relationship between crime and economic incentives in a different way to other work in this area. We look at changes in unemployment benefits and the imposition of benefit sanctions as a means of studying the way that people on the margins of crime may react to economic incentives. The paper relies on a quasiexperimental setting induced by the introduction of the Jobseekers Allowance (JSA) in the UK in October 1996. We look at crime rates in areas more and less affected by the policy change before and after JSA introduction. In the areas more affected by the tougher benefit regime crime rose by more. These were also the areas with higher outflows from unemployment and particularly to people dropping off the register but not into work, education/training or onto other benefits. Areas that had more sanctioned individuals also experienced higher crime rates after the introduction of JSA. As such the benefit cuts and sanctions embodied in the JSA appear to have induced individuals previously on the margins to engage in crime. Thus there appears to have been an unintended policy consequence, associated with the benefit reform, namely higher crime.

Item Type: Monograph (Discussion Paper)
Official URL: http://cep.lse.ac.uk
Additional Information: © 2004 the authors
Library of Congress subject classification: H Social Sciences > HD Industries. Land use. Labor
H Social Sciences > HJ Public Finance
Journal of Economic Literature Classification System: H - Public Economics > H0 - General > H00 - General
J - Labor and Demographic Economics > J6 - Mobility, Unemployment, and Vacancies > J65 - Unemployment Insurance; Severance Pay; Plant Closings
Sets: Research centres and groups > Centre for the Economics of Education (CEE)
Collections > Economists Online
Research centres and groups > Centre for Economic Performance (CEP)
Rights: http://www.lse.ac.uk/library/usingTheLibrary/academicSupport/OA/depositYourResearch.aspx
Identification Number: 645
Date Deposited: 25 Jul 2008 08:53
URL: http://eprints.lse.ac.uk/19945/

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