LONG-TERM UNEMPLOYMENT, VIOLENT CRIME AND VIOLENCE-RELATED BEHAVIOUR
Abstract: This is a panel data study over 289 Swedish municipalities for the period of 2000–2018. The purpose of this study is to reinvestigate the relationship between long-term unemployment and violent crime, as well as alcohol-drugs-related behaviour. Fixed effects model with time and area fixed effects (with and without municipality-specific linear time trends added) was used to conduct this study. The results show a strong relationship between long-term unemployment and violent crime category: one percentage point increase in long-term unemployment increases violent crime rate by 2,8 %, everything else held constant. This finding indicates that opposed to total registered unemployment, long-term unemployment measure might be a better identifier of individuals at the margin of engaging in criminal activity. It is also plausible, that as the duration of unemployment increases, so does the strain and frustration of being jobless, which in turn triggers violent, drug- and alcohol-related behaviour. Instrumental variables approach was used as a sensitivity test to confirm the relationship between unemployment and crime.
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