Work and Crime: The Effects of Low-Skill Service Sector Size on Violent and Property Crime

Harald Ernst Weiss, The Ohio State University
Lesley Williams Reid, Georgia State University

ABSTRACT
Over the past two decades a number of studies have investigated the effects of employment quality on crime. Most of these studies investigated employment quality in regards to its meaning for individual criminality. However, the quality of employment available in an area may also have impacts on crime at a larger level of analysis. Consequently, while the determinants of individual behavior are important, we seek to place the latter into a larger structural framework. This study contributes to the growing information on the employment quality-crime link by relating differences in the quality of employment, of an aggregate level, to crime rates on a metropolitan area level of analysis. In order to control for differences in structural characteristics within our sample we control for a number of variables that urban research has demonstrated to be important characteristics of U.S. population centers./

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Updated 05/20/2006