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Stealing to Survive: Crime and Income Shocks in 19th Century France

44 Pages Posted: 29 Feb 2012  

Vincent Bignon

Banque de France (Microeconomic research unit)

Eve Caroli

Université Paris Dauphine

Roberto Galbiati

Department of Economics, Sciences Po-CNRS

Date Written: January 21, 2012

Abstract

Using local administrative data from 1826 to 1936 we document the evolution of crime rates in 19th century France and we estimate the impact of a negative income shock on crime. Our identification strategy exploits the phylloxera crisis. Between 1863 and 1890, phylloxera destroyed about 40% of French vineyards. Using the geographical variation in the timing of this shock we instrument wine production and we identify the effects of the shock on property and violent crime rates. Our estimates suggest that the phylloxera crisis did not significantly impact violent crimes but caused an increase in property crimes of about 9%.

Keywords: crime, income shock, phylloxera, 19th century France

JEL Classification: K42, N33, R11

Suggested Citation

Bignon, Vincent and Caroli, Eve and Galbiati, Roberto, Stealing to Survive: Crime and Income Shocks in 19th Century France (January 21, 2012). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2012989 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2012989

Vincent Bignon

Banque de France (Microeconomic research unit) ( email )

DGEI-DEMS-SAMIC 46-2401
31 rue Croix des Petits Champs
Paris, 75001
France
+33142924330 (Phone)

Eve Caroli (Contact Author)

Université Paris Dauphine ( email )

Place du Maréchal de Lattre de Tassigny
75775 Paris Cedex 16
France

Roberto Galbiati

Department of Economics, Sciences Po-CNRS ( email )

28 rue des saints peres
Paris, 75007
France

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