DP7467 | Unemployment and Right-wing Extremist Crime

Publication Date

20/09/2009

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Abstract

It is frequently argued that unemployment plays a crucial role for the occurrence of right-wing extremist crimes. We empirically test this hypothesis using data from Germany. We find that right-wing criminal activities occur more frequently when unemployment is high. The big difference in right-wing crime between East and West German states can mostly be attributed to differences in unemployment. This finding reinforces the importance of unemployment as an explanatory factor for right-wing crime and questions explanations based solely on the different socialization in former communist East Germany and the liberal West German states.