Losing by Less? Import Competition, Unemployment Insurance Generosity, and Crime

49 Pages Posted: 15 Sep 2016 Last revised: 25 Jul 2017

See all articles by Brian Beach

Brian Beach

College of William and Mary - Department of Economics

John Lopresti

College of William and Mary - Department of Economics

Multiple version iconThere are 2 versions of this paper

Date Written: July 2017

Abstract

We explore the extent to which increased import competition affected crime in US labor markets between 1990 and 2007, and whether access to unemployment insurance attenuated this relationship. In the average labor market, property crime rates rose by 1.5 percent following a $1000 per worker increase in import competition. Increasing unemployment insurance generosity by one-half of a standard deviation, however, would have mitigated the entire increase. A simple cost-benefit analysis indicates that 7-24 percent of the costs of increasing unemployment insurance generosity were recovered in the form of lower crime rates. This highlights a new and important positive externality of unemployment insurance.

Keywords: Import Competition, Unemployment Insurance, Crime

JEL Classification: F14, F16, H00, J65

Suggested Citation

Beach, Brian and Lopresti, John, Losing by Less? Import Competition, Unemployment Insurance Generosity, and Crime (July 2017). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2838774 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2838774

Brian Beach

College of William and Mary - Department of Economics ( email )

Williamsburg, VA 23187-8795
United States

John Lopresti (Contact Author)

College of William and Mary - Department of Economics ( email )

100 Ukrop Way
Morton Hall
Williamsburg, VA 23185
United States

HOME PAGE: http://wmpeople.wm.edu/site/page/jwlopresti/home

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