Kicking you when you're already down: The multipronged impact of austerity on crime
9 November 2022
In this paper, we provide the first evidence of the impact of these austerity measures on two different but complementary elements of crime – the crime rate and the less-studied concentration of crime – over the period 2011-2015 in England and Wales, and document four new facts. [...] The data we have provide information on the number of offenders, the number of reoffenders, the number of re-offenses, and the number of previous offenses for a four-quarter rolling panel at the district-level. [...] 7 2.6 The Welfare Reform Act 2012 In the aftermath of the great recession of the late 2000s, the coalition government chose to implement a program of austerity as a means to reduce the budget deficit. [...] The austerity program reforms to the welfare system, implemented via the Welfare Reform Act and that lead to large cuts to the generosity of the welfare system across a number of individual benefit transfers, are the primary focus of this paper. [...] The first step in the proposed pathway here starts with low socioeconomic status, and the need to control or compensate for the negative shock to self worth 15If this assumption is incorrect, then when we estimate a crime equation of the form outlined in Section 4, the coefficient related to austerity will represent a lower bound for the impact of a cut to benefit income, B, on the supply of crime.