The Effect of Workfare on Crime: Incapacitation and Program Effects

43 Pages Posted: 30 Dec 2014

See all articles by Peter Fallesen

Peter Fallesen

Stockholm University - Swedish Institute for Social Research (SOFI); Rockwool Foundation Research Unit

Lars Pico Geerdsen

Danish National Institute of Social Research (SFI)

Susumu Imai

Queen's University - Department of Economics

Torben Tranaes

Rockwool Foundation Research Unit; Danish National Institute of Social Research (SFI); CESifo (Center for Economic Studies and Ifo Institute); IZA Institute of Labor Economics

Abstract

In this paper, we estimate the effect of workfare policy on crime by exploiting two exogenous welfare policy changes in Denmark. Our results show a strong decline in the crime rate among treated unemployment uninsured men relative to untreated uninsured and unemployment insured men, and part of this decline can be identified as a direct effect of workfare participation. Moreover, we find that criminal activity was also reduced during weekends, when the workfare programs were closed, allowing us to distinguishing the pure program effect from the incapacitation effect. These results imply a strong and potentially lasting crime reducing effect of workfare policy.

Keywords: crime reduction, difference-in-differences, policy experiment, secondary effects, workfare policy, workfare and crime, unemployment and crime

JEL Classification: I38, K42

Suggested Citation

Fallesen, Peter and Fallesen, Peter and Geerdsen, Lars Pico and Imai, Susumu and Tranaes, Torben, The Effect of Workfare on Crime: Incapacitation and Program Effects. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2543910 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2543910

Peter Fallesen (Contact Author)

Stockholm University - Swedish Institute for Social Research (SOFI)

Kyrkgatan 43B
SE-106 91 Stockholm
Sweden

Rockwool Foundation Research Unit ( email )

Sejroegade 11
DK-2100 Copenhagen
Denmark

Lars Pico Geerdsen

Danish National Institute of Social Research (SFI) ( email )

Herluf Trolles Gade 11
DK-1052 Kopenhagen
Denmark

Susumu Imai

Queen's University - Department of Economics ( email )

99 University Avenue
Kingston K7L 3N6, Ontario
Canada

HOME PAGE: http://qed.econ.queensu.ca/pub/faculty/imai/

Torben Tranaes

Rockwool Foundation Research Unit ( email )

Sejroegade 11
DK-2100 Copenhagen
Denmark
+45 39 17 38 31 (Phone)

HOME PAGE: http://www.rff.dk/organi/tt.htm

Danish National Institute of Social Research (SFI) ( email )

Herluf Trolles Gade 11
DK-1052 Kopenhagen
Denmark

CESifo (Center for Economic Studies and Ifo Institute)

Poschinger Str. 5
Munich, DE-81679
Germany

HOME PAGE: http://www.cesifo.de

IZA Institute of Labor Economics

P.O. Box 7240
Bonn, D-53072
Germany

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