Poverty and Crime in 19th Century Germany: A Reassessment
University of Marburg - Department of Economics; Max Planck Society for the Advancement of the Sciences - Max Planck Institute for Research on Collective Goods; CESifo (Center for Economic Studies and Ifo Institute for Economic Research)
Max Planck Society for the Advancement of the Sciences - Max Planck Institute for Research on Collective Goods
MPI Collective Goods Preprint, No. 2010/35
Using panel data for Prussia during 1882 to 1910, we replicate Mehlum, Miguel, and Torvik’s (2006) study on the causal effect of poverty on crime in 19th century Germany. In addition, our data set allows us to make several original contributions to the literature. We confirm the robust positive effect of poverty on property crime. Employing the rye price as a proxy for poverty, we show that the effect is less pronounced for provinces with a large agricultural sector. As Mehlum et al., we also find a strong negative impact of poverty on violent crime. However, once we account for beer consumption, this effect vanishes.
Number of Pages in PDF File: 25
Keywords: Crime, Poverty, rye price, beer, weather, Prussia
JEL Classification: K42, I33, N93working papers series
Date posted: August 27, 2010
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