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Akçomak, S., ter Weel, B. (2008). The Impact of Social Capital on Crime: Evidence from the Netherlands, UNU-MERIT Working Paper 2008-042

This paper investigates the relation between social capital and crime. The analysis contributes to explaining why crime is so heterogeneous across space. By employing current and historical data for Dutch municipalities and by providing novel indicators to measure social capital, we find a link between social capital and crime. Our results suggest that higher levels of social capital are associated with lower crime rates and that municipalities’ historical states in terms of population heterogeneity, religiosity and education affect current levels of social capital. Social capital indicators explain about 10 percent of the observed variance in crime. It is also shown why some social capital indicators are more useful than others in a robustness analysis.


Akcomak, İbrahim Semih

I.Semih Akçomak studied economics at the Middle East Technical University (METU) in Ankara, Turkey. Previously, he worked as a research assistant in the Department of Economics at METU where he also obtained his MSc. degree. Semih joined the UNU-MERIT PhD programme in 2003 and has completed...

Ter Weel, Bas

Bas ter Weel is researcher at the Department of Labour Market and Welfare of the Netherlands Bureau for Economic Policy Analysis

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