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Welfare Activation and Youth Crime

Bernt Bratsberg (), Øystein Hernaes (), Simen Markussen (), Oddbjørn Raaum () and Knut Røed ()
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Øystein Hernaes: Ragnar Frisch Centre for Economic Research
Oddbjørn Raaum: Ragnar Frisch Centre for Economic Research

No 11719, IZA Discussion Papers from Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA)

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 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: H55 I29 I38 J18 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
New Economics Papers: this item is included in nep-eur, nep-pbe and nep-ure
Date: 2018-08
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Forthcoming in: Review of Economics and Statistics

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