Exploring the Economic Dynamics and Crime Rates in 19th Century France


According to Bignon, Caroli, and Galbiati, (2016), the economic condition of the country depends on the growth rate, social development, poverty and unemployment of the country as well as crime rate of the country. Through considering these factors, it is possible to understand the economic condition of France and negative impacts further leads the country towards high crime and low growth equilibrium. The people are falling into poverty during the economic crisis of the country and it further raises the crime rate in the country. Through this study, it is possible to acknowledge the crime rate and the impacts of phylloxera crisis and negative economic shock in France during the period of 19th century. The study also focuses on understanding massive shock in France economy including phylloxera attack and this also has impacts on exploiting the source o exogenous variables. As opined by Cortés, Santamaría, and Vargas, (2016), it has been estimated that, the negative economic shock affected the local crime rate in negative way in Franc during 19th century.

As opined by Bignon and Jobst, (2017), the result shows that, phylloxera crisis is affected by the property crime rate and there is significant decrease in violent crimes. On the other hand, according to Bignon, Jobst and Nationalbank (2017), the agricultural income induced by the phylloxera attack which is caused by increased in thefts and reduction in homicides. The paper in this regard aims at identifying the impacts of negative economic condition on crime rate in France. Due to lack of social development as well as negative economic shock, there is significant property crime rate for which there is fewer violent crimes ion the country. As opined by Lovett (2018), as per the estimation, it has been seen that, crop thefts increase with transitory poverty and thus there is high linkage between poverty and crime rate in France where the adverse weather condition, high rain falls and other negative factors further affect the people negatively and change their mindset and lead them towards crime.



The study focuses on identifying the impacts of negative economic shock in France and for analysing the impacts; it is beneficial to collect both the primary and secondary data to conduct the research successfully. In this regard, the theoretical background of the study as well as the secondary sources of information is effective to collected authentic secondary data and information for conducting the research efficiently. On the other hand, the chart of 19th century about crime rate and negative income shock is useful for the study to analyse the impacts of economic shock and social development condition in France on the crime rate. Hereby, both the primary data base and secondary information are useful to conduct the study and fulfil its aims strategically. As opined by Papaioannou, (2017), the data related to time pattern of the effects of Phylloxera Epidemic on wine production and crime rates is also significant in this study to understand the possible factors having crucial effects on the crime rate in France.

Data analysis

As per the findings, there is proper data and information about the crime rate and the economic shock and other factors in the French economy which has crucial impacts on the individuals and crime rate of the country. As per the collected data, violent and property crime has been decreasing over the period 1826 and 1936 (Refer to Appendix 1). In this period, the minor offences in France was fluctuating and it rose upward in the period of 1930 to 1940 (Refer to Appendix 2). As per the data, there is strong increase in property crime and less violent crime due to bad weather condition. As opined by Bogliacino, Gómez, and Grimalda (2019), as the people cannot conduct the agricultural activities and fail to secure proper income source from agriculture and it further increases the property crime and lowers the violent crime, where the French economy is very dependent on agriculture which is the main source of income of the individuals in the country. The French Ministry of Justice provides the information that, there is high poverty in the country which in turn raises the crime rate of the city as a whole. According to Dix-Carneiro, Soares and Ulyssea (2018), in the beginning of 19th century, the share of agricultural production has hampered due to adverse weather condition and others for which the GDP of the country has also decreased and it had proper impacts on the increasing crime rate among the people in France. In addition to these, sharp decrease in wine production is another reason for high crime rate in the country and it further generated a major income shock in the country (Cortés, Santamaría, and Vargas, 2016).


According to Blakeslee, and Fishman, (2018), As per the results of the data collection and findings, there was 1.326 per hundred thousand points in crime rates in France and it has been estimated that there was an average increase in the property crime rate by 18% in the country which is due to unemployment and lack of appropriate income source ad generation of income among the people in the country. Moreover, there were wide range of people who consume alcohol and high alcohol consumption further leads them towards violent crime in the country (Bignon, Jobst and Nationalbank, 2017). The negative income shock has both side effects, positive and negative. As per the perspective of positive effects, negative income shock of the country through higher tax rate or unemployment further reduce the consumption of alcohol among the people where the individual are less often to engage with violent crime. On the other hand, as stated by Cortés, Santamaría and Vargas (2016), the negative income shock has also negative impacts where there are some individuals who are engaged with property and violent crime due to lack of income generation and depression. Hereby, the country has faced difficulties during the 19th century, where the people became engaged with crime due to negative income shock for which, as per the data and information, the rate of property crime had been increased as compared to the violent crime in the country (Bogliacino, Gómez, and Grimalda, 2019).


As per the above results and analysis, it has been seen that, there is strong linkage between the negative income shock and the crime rate of the country. If the consumption of alcohol is high, there is high violent rate as the people, who are addicted to alcohol, become engaged with violent crime. On the other hand, according to Feeny (2016), there is property crime where the people are engaged with theft, robbery and bankruptcy where they try to steal property or money for earning more. In this regard, in the country, France, there is both the violent and property crime among the people. In the 19th century, the property crime has been increase at a rapid rate as compared to the violent crime. During the period, there is reduction in wine production and for which the demand for wine has raised incorporating high rice for the wine products, which was no affordable by the people. Hereby, as stated by Rosenfeld (2018), the consumption of alcohol reduced during the period due to decrease in wine production and increase in the price of wine in the market in France. Open the other hand, there was major reduction in the agricultural production for which the country’s GDP had been hampered as a whole as the country was dependent both in wine production and agricultural activities (Bignon, Jobst and Nationalbank, 2017).

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The study aims at acknowledging the negative economic shock on crime by using the data base during 19th century, where it has been found that, phylloxera crisis increases the property crime rate by 22% and apart from that, it also affects the living condition of the people in France. Possible chances in the criminal justice as well as presence of police force in France are effective to reduce the risk of crime in the country both in rural and urban areas. The data base is effective to analyse the impacts of diffusion of phylloxera where it helps to decrease substantial crime rate in the county successfully. Hereby, the police force and country’s policy structure are beneficial to control the crime rate, poverty and unemployment in the country which are inter-connected to each other. The property crime rate had increased during the period of 19th century as compared to the violent crime in France due to poverty and unemployment as well as income inequality in the country here the GDP of the economy also had been hampered due to reduction in win production and agricultural activities for adverse weather condition as France was dependent in wine production and agriculture. This is the reason for which there were increasing number of people who were engaged with property crime through theft, robbery and bankruptcy for their survival in the country.

Reference List

Baysan, C., Burke, M., González, F., Hsiang, S. and Miguel, E., 2018. Economic and non-economic factors in violence: Evidence from organized crime, suicides and climate in mexico (No. w24897). National Bureau of Economic Research.

Bignon, V. and Jobst, C., 2017. Economic crises and the eligibility for the lender of last resort: evidence from nineteenth century France.

Bignon, V., Caroli, E. and Galbiati, R., 2016. Stealing to survive? Crime and income shocks in nineteenth century France. The Economic Journal, 127(599), pp.19-49.

Bignon, V., Jobst, C. and Nationalbank, O., 2017. Economic Crises and the Lender of Last Resort: Evidence from 19th Century France (No. 11737). CEPR Working Paper.

Blakeslee, D.S. and Fishman, R., 2018. Weather shocks, agriculture, and crime evidence from India. Journal of Human Resources, 53(3), pp.750-782.

Bogliacino, F., Gómez, C.E. and Grimalda, G., 2019. Crime-related Exposure to Violence and Social Preferences: Experimental Evidence from Bogotá. Documentos FCE-CID Escuela de Economía, (101).

Cortés, D., Santamaría, J. and Vargas, J.F., 2016. Economic shocks and crime: Evidence from the crash of Ponzi schemes. Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, 131, pp.263-275.

Dix-Carneiro, R., Soares, R.R. and Ulyssea, G., 2018. Economic shocks and crime: Evidence from the brazilian trade liberalization. American Economic Journal: Applied Economics, 10(4), pp.158-95.

Feeny, S., 2016. Household Vulnerability and Resilience to Economic Shocks in Melanesia: An Overview. In Household Vulnerability and Resilience to Economic Shocks (pp. 19-40). Routledge.

Flückiger, M. and Ludwig, M., 2015. Economic shocks in the fisheries sector and maritime piracy. Journal of Development Economics, 114, pp.107-125.

Lovett, N., 2018. Food Stamps, Income Shocks, and Crime: Evidence from California. The BE Journal of Economic Analysis & Policy, 18(4).

Papaioannou, K.J., 2017. “Hunger makes a thief of any man”: Poverty and crime in British colonial Asia. European Review of Economic History, 21(1), pp.1-28.

Rosenfeld, R., 2018. Studying crime trends: Normal science and exogenous shocks. Criminology, 56(1), pp.5-26.

SantamarÃa, J. and Vargas, J., 2016. Economic Shocks and Crime: Evidence from the Crash of Ponzi Schemes (No. 843). CAF Development Bank Of Latinamerica.


Appendix 1: Violent and property crime in France 1826-1936


Appendix 2: Minor offences in France 1826-1936

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