The generous social welfare system in Europe is one of the most important differences between Europe and the US. Defenders of the European welfare state argue that it improves social cohesion and prevents crime. Others argue that the "invisible hand" in the US economy is equally powerful in reducing unemployment and preventing crime. This book takes this trade-off as a starting point and contributes to a better interdisciplinary understanding of the interactions between crime, economic performance and social exclusion. In doing so, it evaluates the existing economic and criminological research and provides innovative empirical investigations on the basis of international panel data sets from different levels of regional aggregation.
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