November 2022

IZA DP No. 15757: Dynamic Relationships between Criminal Offending and Victimization

A stylized fact in criminology holds that those who commit crimes are more likely to be victims of crime, and vice versa. We use population-level administrative data of all police investigations in New Zealand to examine the possibility of this victim-offender overlap. Two-way fixed effects and dynamic panel models explore intertemporal relationships between victimization and offending. This analysis reveals that victim-offender overlap predominantly reflects population heterogeneity. However, a dynamic relationship does exist, and is primarily driven by 1) criminal incidents occurring close together in time and 2) simultaneous incidents where individuals are both offenders and victims (e.g., mutually combative assaults).