Departrment of Economics
Lousiana State University
Baton Rouge, LA 70803-6306
NBER Working Papers and Publications
|August 2016||Analyzing the Impact of the World’s Largest Public Works Project on Crime|
with Naci Mocan: w22499
India started the implementation of a rural public works program in 2006, covering all districts of the country within three years. The program quarantees 100 days of employment per year at minimum wage to each rural household on demand, with the goal of reducing joblessness and poverty. We exploit the design and implementation of this program to investigate its employment impact on various types of crimes, ranging from burglary to kidnapping to riots. We show that the program acts as an insurance scheme because an increase in rainfall, which is negatively correlated with agricultural production, lowers the demand for jobs under the program. Controlling for rainfall, we find that employment generated by the program has a negative impact on both property and violent crime. Although crime ...