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Labour market conditions and crime in Greece

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Purpose ‐ The purpose of this paper is to examine the impact of unemployment on various types of crime in Greece. Design/methodology/approach ‐ A battery of econometric tests, including Granger causality tests, a variance decomposition analysis, and an impulse response analysis are used to explore the nexus between unemployment and 14 different types of crime. Findings ‐ Out of the 14 different types of criminal activity, only in the case of three ‐ vehicle thefts, robberies and contraband & smuggling ‐ was a nexus with unemployment established. Practical implications ‐ Given that such criminal activity is primarily motivated and driven by economic gain, a policy implication is that crime thwarting policies need to be complemented by corresponding labour market interventions, especially in periods of recession, when unemployment emerges as a major problem for disadvantaged social groups. Originality/value ‐ The issue between labour market conditions and crime has not been addressed before in the case of Greece, a country that has experienced a generally growing crime rate.

Keywords: Crime; Greece; Social deviation; Unemployment

Document Type: Research Article


Publication date: 2012-10-12

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