Document Type

Honors Project - Open Access


Evidence shows that education, labor market conditions for ex-offenders, and wages influence crime rates. The relationship between wages and crime specifically, has interesting potential policy implications, especially in arguments for increasing the minimum wage. Economists speculate that increasing the minimum wage may help reduce crime by increasing wages and thus increasing the opportunity cost of committing crime, making it riskier and less necessary for people to supplement their incomes through illegal avenues. Using crime data from the FBI’s Uniform Crime Reports and minimum wage data from Vaghul & Zipperer (2016), I employ a two-way fixed effects framework to analyze the effects of changes in the minimum-to-median wage ratio on various crime outcomes, including total crime rates and 16-24 year old crime rates. I find no effect on Core-Based Statistical Area (CBSA) crime rates with changes in the minimum-to-median wage ratio.

Included in

Economics Commons



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