53rd Congress of the European Regional Science Association: "Regional Integration: Europe, the Mediterranean and the World Economy", 27-31 August 2013, Palermo, Italy
Research that investigate the extent of labor market prospects on crime rates focus on conditions in a region and crime rate in that region. However, this approach neglects criminal mobility. It is also possible that an improvement in the labor market in a region may attract non-residents, either professional criminals who travel only to commit crime or individuals who migrate hoping to find a job and failing to do so may inclined to commit crime. Indeed, using regional data from Turkey shows that almost 40% of crimes are committed by non-residents. This number is over 10% on average even one only considers violent crimes, and can reach as high as 18%. In this paper, using conviction rates from Turkey I estimate the effect of unemployment rate and average wages on crime in a region committed by non-residents, as well as implement a gravity model using both labor market characteristics in region where crime is committed and region of the criminal's residence. The results show that while local labor market conditions fail to explain crime rate in a region, they are strong predictors of crimes committed by non-residents.