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Fear of crime and housing prices: Household reactions to sex offender registries

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  • Pope, Jaren C.

Abstract

Megan's Law requires public dissemination of information from sex offender registries. Opponents to this controversial law have questioned whether households misinterpret or even use this information. One concern was that the information might simply induce a "fear of crime." This study finds evidence for both use and misinterpretation of the publicly available information on sex offenders. Using a unique dataset that tracks sex offenders in Hillsborough County, Florida, the results indicate that after a sex offender moves into a neighborhood, nearby housing prices fall by 2.3% ($3500 on average). However, once a sex offender moves out of a neighborhood, housing prices appear to immediately rebound. Surprisingly, these price impacts do not appear to differ in areas near high risk offenders labeled as "predators."

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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by Elsevier in its journal Journal of Urban Economics.

Volume (Year): 64 (2008)
Issue (Month): 3 (November)
Pages: 601-614

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Handle: RePEc:eee:juecon:v:64:y:2008:i:3:p:601-614

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Web page: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/inca/622905

Related research

Keywords: Information disclosure Crime Hedonic Property values Megan's Law;

References

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  1. Julie Berry Cullen & Steven D. Levitt, 1999. "Crime, Urban Flight, And The Consequences For Cities," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, MIT Press, vol. 81(2), pages 159-169, May.
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  7. Steve Gibbons, 2004. "The Costs of Urban Property Crime," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, Royal Economic Society, vol. 114(499), pages F441-F463, November.
  8. Lawrence F. Katz & Jeffrey R. Kling & Jeffrey B. Liebman, 2001. "Moving To Opportunity In Boston: Early Results Of A Randomized Mobility Experiment," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, MIT Press, vol. 116(2), pages 607-654, May.
  9. Thaler, Richard, 1978. "A note on the value of crime control: Evidence from the property market," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, Elsevier, vol. 5(1), pages 137-145, January.
  10. Beck, Victoria Simpson & Travis, Lawrence F., 2004. "Sex offender notification and fear of victimization," Journal of Criminal Justice, Elsevier, Elsevier, vol. 32(5), pages 455-463.
  11. Ippolito, Pauline M. & Ippolito, Richard A., 1984. "Measuring the value of life saving from consumer reactions to new information," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, Elsevier, vol. 25(1-2), pages 53-81, November.
  12. Palmquist, Raymond B., 2006. "Property Value Models," Handbook of Environmental Economics, Elsevier, in: K. G. Mäler & J. R. Vincent (ed.), Handbook of Environmental Economics, edition 1, volume 2, chapter 16, pages 763-819 Elsevier.
  13. Mathios, Alan D, 2000. "The Impact of Mandatory Disclosure Laws on Product Choices: An Analysis of the Salad Dressing Market," Journal of Law and Economics, University of Chicago Press, University of Chicago Press, vol. 43(2), pages 651-77, October.
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