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Youth unemployment and crime in the English regions and Wales

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This paper investigates the relationship between unemployment and crime in England and Wales taking account of both age and gender in the unemployment measures. The study is for 1985-95 and is disaggregated to the regional level. We allow for different types of crime and the deterrence effects of detection and punishment. We also consider the relationship between ethnicity and crime in the light of the contentious public debate on this issue. Our results indicate that there is a systematic positive relationship between burglary rates and male unemployment regardless of age. However, we find that while youth unemployment is consistently and positively related to criminal damage and robbery rates there is no systematic evidence of a relationship between adult male unemployment and these specific crimes. Instead our evidence supports a positive link between adult unemployment and theft. We find no compelling evidence of a link between ethnicity and crime.

Document Type: Research Article


Publication date: 2000-04-15

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