Model this East German crime

Following the collapse of the communist regime in 1989, the number of births halved in East Germany. These cohorts became markedly more likely to be arrested as they grew up in reunified Germany. This is observed for both genders and all offence types.

Here is the full article by Arnauld Chevalier and Olivier Marie, the authors seem to think the reunification event selects for risky parents, are there other possible explanations?

Via the excellent Kevin Lewis.

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Parents to young son: “Property is theft, Klaus. Capitalist wealth? Illegitimate, ill-gotten gains, the lot of it. Now go across the border and liberate some goodies.”

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Lucky for them to just get arrested and not "disappeared" from this world and therefore the stats.

That could explain the high crime rate: in a police state, the police and government officials commit most of the crimes. What about the decline in birth rate --- collapse of socialism eliminated the incentive to have welfare babies?

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Actually, the East Germany population after reunification fell by 3.5 million because of the exodus of young people to the west. Not unlike the exodus of young people in America from the heartland. And like in America, the exodus in east Germany has given rise to far right politics.

Yes, the migration is the reason. The emigres were disproportionately ambitious, educated, and upwardly mobile young who moved west and had the kinds of babies such people have. This left behind a disproportionately low ambition, low education, indifferent rump who had the kinds of babies they have.

This. For similar reasons Puerto Rico is a basket case. Quality young people go to New York and Florida.

+1 to rayward, Thelonious_Nick and Javier Perez de Quaoar.
Like West Virginia also the best leave.
Honduras also where many of the best left but if they were bad they were sent back.

Does this explain the increasing crime rate in California as well?

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Interesting. That means opening the US southern border would draw all the best people from Mexico and Central America. Putting America First means disregarding any potential "brain drain" that Central America might suffer, making open borders the true nationalist policy.

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Another issue was that the West German and East German currencies were merged at parity. In PPP terms, East German currency effectively appreciated, which meant their industry became less competitive. This contributed to the high unemployment rate that accelerated the exodus to West Germany.

+1

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More likely than West Germans of a similar age, or more likely than East Germans of other age cohorts?

Authors please explain and discuss the plausibility of the identification strategy in the abstract! From the paper: "For all outcomes our empirical strategy relies on a difference in differences approach which exploits the natural experiment provided by the post-Berlin Wall drop in birth rates."

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Haven't read the actual article. It would be interesting if they control for migration from east to west and youth unemployment.

In the German press it is well known that especially a lot of young women migrated into the west, leaving many communities with frustrated unemployed male youngsters with nothing to do.

https://ze.tt/was-das-fehlen-von-frauen-und-jungen-menschen-im-osten-mit-rassismus-zu-tun-hat/

Not sure if "risky parents" are the only explanation.

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I seem to recall reading that East Germans suffered higher rates of depression following reunification. I suspect they felt something like a conquered people—increased contact with the rich sophisticated West Germans made them feel inferior, and the cultural learning curve was jarring. I’m not surprised that this manifested itself in the form of lower birth rates and increased crime. Reunification simultaneously took away all that was familiar from the present and the future and cast a shadow over all that was left behind in the past. It alienated them, destroyed the conceptual pillars that had ordered their lives; makes sense that they would see increased rates of antisocial behavior.

This should have provided some warning to Europe as to how difficult it would be to integrate/assimilate large numbers of immigrants from completely different cultures.

If there is ever a reunification of North and South Korea, the North Koreans will provide another data point.

It seems that the East Germans who immigrated to West Germany are doing fine; it’s the ones who stayed in East Germany who are harder to assimilate. The lesson is that it’s hard to assimilate conquered peoples, not immigrants who have voluntarily chosen to come to your country.

You might want to check your conclusion with the Swedes in Malmo, to name one example.

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There's this new thing called "Google" that will open a window to the world. A few readers of this blog have discovered it.

There’s also having the obvious pointed out to you. Maybe you’ve discovered that?

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Is it reunification, or is it selective out-migration that is changing the population composition?

The control group would be the Eastern European countries that have a high degree of out-migration, but they didn't have any "unification" event, unless joining the EU counts. It may take some time to see any effect because they didn't join the EU until 2004 and later.

But on the other hand, Estonia and Latvia have had heavy out-migration over the same thirty-year time frame as East Germany, mostly of the Russian-speaking population, who may harbor the same "conquered people" resentment as some East Germans. Even the ethnic Estonian and ethnic Latvian populations have fallen in absolute terms.

PS, how does the risk-taking propensity to have children in times of uncertainty correlate with the risk-taking propensity to emigrate? Have they correctly identified the group with the "preference for risk"? In a modern European welfare state like Germany, how much risk does having a child really entail, even for single mothers?

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As per Tom T above, the benchmark matters here vs the past or vs the west? The article also seems one-dimensional. Risk is the pathway to reward, so if the benchmark is history, is both crime and living standards/income higher than the past?

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German re-unification is likely to be one of the great mistakes in world history. When the Germans were divided into little duchies and principalities they were no danger to the larger world. For seventy-three years after the first unification the Krauts were determined to run the world according to their own warped concepts and managed to send millions to an early grave. Rather than unifying these cultural monsters they should have been returned to their smaller, less obnoxious entities.

Or, when the recognized path to success in Europe was war, they outdid their neighbors at that. When they got the word that good Europeans should be productive and frugal, they outdid everyone again. We've now seen about 75 years of each behavior.

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The Morgenthau plan would have worked, though not in the long run.

Blame Stalin. Without the agricultural east, Germany couldn't feed itself.

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That brought conflict into the cute little states of Germany. Thirty years war, third o' the population gone. Napoleonic wars, how did N get to Moscow?

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Perhaps normal East German traits suddenly became criminalized under the West German legal umbrella? Reunification is so weird and so rare, it's difficult to venture a guess. Who gobbles up another country without military conquest? Weird!

Nay, the citizens of what country want to, voluntarily, get gobbled up by another country?

Two down, one to go, in the sense of overcoming the remnants of the Cold War.

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This is obvious

The difference between one period and another is that the laws changed.

The laws were not the same in both periods.

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West German animus towards East German clingers

same level of criminality east v west

retribution falls mainly on the east

because
winners

take advantage when they can because they are human oh so human

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The moral and social fabric was destroyed long before reunification.

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Authors are wrong. Michael Mitterauer is the guy you want to consult. Differential spread of outbreeding and Frankish agricultural practices centuries ago are to blame. East Germans are the ones most responsible for both World Wars too (inluding electing Nazis), by the way. HBDChick writes good summaries of these hypotheses.

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How do the Austrians always manage to escape blame for their responsibility and involvement in world wars?

It has been joked that Austrian foreign policy consists of trying to convince the world that Beethoven was Austrian and that Hitler was German.

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German (West) here. "RISKY MOMS, RISKY KIDS?" seems kinda silly in this context, comments here do better. But, if you replace risky with "irresponsible", not that far-fetched anymore. Dr. Caplan might see those German women (and their male partners) as un-deserving poor , who a) did not "go west", though work had more to offer there for hard-working types in the first decade after unification. If you had not much to offer to that market-economy, staying was not a much worse choice. (cheap rents, social life). So, indeed, not a positive selection. b) did choose to have a kid without clear job-persepectives (for them and the kid, if stayed put) c) did more often than not got the kid "out-of-wedlock" (70% or so), which is not bad in itself, but their partners were also too often not reliable supporters. d) did find the material help the German state offers to single moms quite sufficient (it is for some) . And this effects were compounded by many other parents to whom a/b/c/d also applied. And all the time the brightest (esp. among the girls) leaving. And the s**m stayed (I refer to young single men wearing LoNSDAle .) Of course, many mothers in the East were and are absolutely fine, but their share was smaller than in the West. Thus the effect. Young, not clever, failures in school and elsewhere, grown on gov. hand-outs (plus still less jobs.) - makes for higher crime in Western Germany and anywhere. - Yes, getting legal immigrants usu. means getting the better share of the " tired, your poor,
Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free,
The wretched refuse of your teeming shore.
Send these, the homeless, tempest-tost to me". 2nd reference to B.C., I know. Could do a third in praise of those wise enough to have more kids, when you like them , not "waiting
for a better moment that didn't come".

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You are welcome for having given you a randomized control trial setting for so many different studies.
Germany

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As a German lawyer with some experience in criminology, I wanted to comment on this. But then, I realized that I don't really know eastern Germany, not even now.
It's a sad realization, but one which I have vowed to change: https://andreasmoser.blog/2018/10/03/eastern-germany/

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Since others noted factors like Migration, economic slump and flooding with subsidies (even indirectly with establishing parity between East and West German Currencies), I‘ll emphasize what seems to be untouched: Moral disenfranchisement.

Germany has an unpleasant history of civic unrest, in that revolutions never succeeded. Social, democratic, (classical) liberal progress was often tamed by its rulers, and if such progress happened usually by their decree, top to bottom. Or by forcing us into them, by loosing WW2 (“forced into“ as in „to draw up a constitution“ or „to visit the concentration camps while there were still corpses to see“).

All revolutions? No, actually the Eastern Germans brought about the single successful German revolution - which was loathed by the intellectual establishment of the west. The latter immediately adopted the framing of the former Eastern German Ruling Party SED, and hence no German even labels it a Revolution, but „the Turn“ (die Wende)

In effect: degrading the Eastern Germans. Without even letting them know, because the language provides no words for it.

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