Does Economic Freedom Really Kill? On the Association between ‘Neoliberal’ Reform and Homicide Rates

37 Pages Posted: 30 May 2012

See all articles by Christian Bjørnskov

Christian Bjørnskov

Aarhus University - Department of Economics and Business; Research Institute of Industrial Economics (IFN); Center for Political Studies; Institute for Corruption Studies

Date Written: May 30, 2012

Abstract

This paper investigates recent claims that ‘neoliberal’ policies and reforms are associated with higher homicide rates and other types of crime. Using a panel of the 50 US states observed between 1981 and 2005 and the Economic Freedom Index of the Fraser Institute, results show that there is no direct association between changes in economic policies as measured by this index and homicide rates. The results nevertheless show that other types of crime decrease with liberalizing spending or tax reforms. Effects of liberalizing tax reforms in particular may spill over from less violent crime to lower homicide rates.

Keywords: homicide, crime, economic freedom, liberalization

JEL Classification: D74, H11, K42

Suggested Citation

Bjørnskov, Christian, Does Economic Freedom Really Kill? On the Association between ‘Neoliberal’ Reform and Homicide Rates (May 30, 2012). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2070841 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2070841

Christian Bjørnskov (Contact Author)

Aarhus University - Department of Economics and Business ( email )

Fuglesangs Allé 4
Aarhus V, DK-8210
Denmark

Research Institute of Industrial Economics (IFN) ( email )

Box 55665
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Stockholm, SE-102 15
Sweden

Center for Political Studies

Landgreven 3
Copenhagen K, DK-1301
Denmark

Institute for Corruption Studies

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Normal, IL 61790-4200
United States

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