Welfare Activation and Youth Crime

49 Pages Posted: 28 Aug 2018

See all articles by Bernt Bratsberg

Bernt Bratsberg

Kansas State University - Department of Economics; University of Oslo - Ragnar Frisch Centre for Economic Research

Oeystein Hernaes

University of Oslo - Ragnar Frisch Centre for Economic Research

Simen Markussen

University of Oslo - Ragnar Frisch Centre for Economic Research

Oddbjorn Raaum

University of Oslo - Ragnar Frisch Centre for Economic Research

Knut Roed

Ragnar Frisch Centre for Economic Research; IZA Institute of Labor Economics

Abstract

We evaluate the impact on youth crime of a welfare reform that tightened activation requirements for social assistance clients. The evaluation strategy exploits administrative individual data in combination with geographically differentiated implementation of the reform. We find that the reform reduced crime among teenage boys from economically disadvantaged families. Stronger reform effects on weekday versus weekend crime, reduced school dropout, and favorable long-run outcomes in terms of crime and educational attainment, point to both incapacitation and human capital accumulation as key mechanisms. Despite lowered social assistance take-up we uncover no indication that loss of income support pushed youth into crime.

Keywords: social assistance, youth crime, activation

JEL Classification: H55, I29, I38, J18

Suggested Citation

Bratsberg, Bernt and Hernaes, Oeystein and Markussen, Simen and Raaum, Oddbjørn and Røed, Knut, Welfare Activation and Youth Crime. IZA Discussion Paper No. 11719, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3238544

Bernt Bratsberg (Contact Author)

Kansas State University - Department of Economics ( email )

Manhattan, KS 66502-4001
United States

University of Oslo - Ragnar Frisch Centre for Economic Research

Gaustadalleen 21
N-0349 Oslo
Norway

Oeystein Hernaes

University of Oslo - Ragnar Frisch Centre for Economic Research ( email )

Simen Markussen

University of Oslo - Ragnar Frisch Centre for Economic Research ( email )

Gaustadalleen 21
N-0317 Oslo
Norway

Oddbjørn Raaum

University of Oslo - Ragnar Frisch Centre for Economic Research ( email )

Gaustadalleen 21
N-0317 Oslo
Norway

Knut Røed

Ragnar Frisch Centre for Economic Research ( email )

Gaustadalleen 21
N-0349 Oslo
Norway

IZA Institute of Labor Economics

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

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