CrimProf Blog

Editor: Kevin Cole
Univ. of San Diego School of Law

Wednesday, August 12, 2020

d'Este & Harvey on Welfare Reform and Crime

Rocco d'Este and Alex Harvey (University of Sussex, Department of Economics and affiliation not provided to SSRN) have posted Universal Credit and Crime on SSRN. Here is the abstract:
We evaluate the criminogenic effects of Universal Credit (UC), a monumental welfare reform designed to radically change the social security payment system in the United Kingdom. We exploit the UC rollout across constituencies using monthly data from 2010 to 2019 for England and Wales. We find that UC has caused around 45,000 burglaries, with criminogenic effects lasting until the end of the sample period and expected to grow considerably by the time UC will be fully rolled out and 6.5 million more individuals will join the system. The analysis suggests the worsening of benefit recipients’ financial conditions as the key mechanism.

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