Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Moving public assistance payments from cash to plastic cuts crime, research shows

Date:
March 24, 2014
Source:
Georgia State University
Summary:
Counties that change their delivery of public assistance benefits from paper checks to an electronic benefit transfer system -- using debit cards -- see their street crimes drop significantly, according to a study. The study is the first to empirically examine whether the introduction of an EBT system, which reduces the amount of cash circulated on the streets, will disrupt criminal activities that rely on the ease and relative anonymity of cash transactions.

Bank cards. "Our study shows that even a small reduction of cash has a positive effect in reducing street crime," Topalli said.
Credit: Valerie Potapova / Fotolia

Counties that change their delivery of public assistance benefits from paper checks to an Electronic Benefit Transfer (EBT) system -- using debit cards -- see their street crimes drop significantly, according to a study published today by the National Bureau of Economic Research.

Related Articles


Titled "Less Cash, Less Crime: Evidence from the Electronic Benefit Transfer Program," the study is the first to empirically examine whether the introduction of an EBT system, which reduces the amount of cash circulated on the streets, will disrupt criminal activities that rely on the ease and relative anonymity of cash transactions.

"Our results indicate that implementation of the EBT program is associated with a 9.8 percent reduction in the overall crime rate. This was led by reductions in home burglaries, assault and larceny," said study co-author Volkan Topalli, associate professor of criminology at the Andrew Young School of Policy Studies at Georgia State University. "We also find fewer arrests for non-drug offenses in counties where EBT benefit payments were implemented."

The study was spurred by what offenders and criminals were telling criminologists doing research on the street, Topalli said.

"What's really neat about this study and others we do with economists," he said, "is using econometric methods to test important criminological ideas."

This study's co-authors include economist Erdal Tekin of the Andrew Young School -- an expert on risky behaviors -- criminologists Richard Wright, Richard Rosenfeld and Tim Dickinson of the University of Missouri-St. Louis and economist Chandler McClellan of the National Bureau of Economic Research.

"Our study shows that even a small reduction of cash has a positive effect in reducing street crime," Topalli said. "That's a good thing. But the question moving forward is, what will the impact of a future with even more cashless transactions be on the nation's poor, who up to now have relied disproportionately on cash?"

The abstract to the report can be viewed at: http://www.nber.org/papers/w19996?utm_campaign=ntw&utm_medium=email&utm_source=ntw


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Georgia State University. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

Georgia State University. "Moving public assistance payments from cash to plastic cuts crime, research shows." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 24 March 2014. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/03/140324145411.htm>.
Georgia State University. (2014, March 24). Moving public assistance payments from cash to plastic cuts crime, research shows. ScienceDaily. Retrieved April 18, 2015 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/03/140324145411.htm
Georgia State University. "Moving public assistance payments from cash to plastic cuts crime, research shows." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/03/140324145411.htm (accessed April 18, 2015).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Mind & Brain News

Saturday, April 18, 2015

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Our Love Of Puppy Dog Eyes Explained By Science

Our Love Of Puppy Dog Eyes Explained By Science

Newsy (Apr. 17, 2015) Researchers found a spike in oxytocin occurs in both humans and dogs when they gaze into each other&apos;s eyes. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Scientists Find Link Between Gestational Diabetes And Autism

Scientists Find Link Between Gestational Diabetes And Autism

Newsy (Apr. 17, 2015) Researchers who analyzed data from over 300,000 kids and their mothers say they&apos;ve found a link between gestational diabetes and autism. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Video Messages Help Reassure Dementia Patients

Video Messages Help Reassure Dementia Patients

AP (Apr. 17, 2015) Family members are prerecording messages as part of a unique pilot program at the Hebrew Home in New York. The videos are trying to help victims of Alzheimer&apos;s disease and other forms of dementia break through the morning fog of forgetfulness. (April 17) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Common Pain Reliever Might Dull Your Emotions

Common Pain Reliever Might Dull Your Emotions

Newsy (Apr. 16, 2015) Each week, millions of Americans take acetaminophen to dull minor aches and pains. Now researchers say it might blunt life&apos;s highs and lows, too. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Health & Medicine

Mind & Brain

Living & Well

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins