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The Dynamics of Criminal Behavior: Evidence from Weather Shocks

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  • Brian Jacob
  • Lars Lefgren
  • Enrico Moretti

Abstract

While the persistence of criminal activity is well documented, this may be due to persistence in the unobserved determinants of crime. There are good reasons to believe, however, that there may actually be a negative relationship between crime rates in a particular area due to temporal displacement. We exploit the correlation between weather and crime to examine the short-run dynamics of crime. Using variation in lagged crime rates due to weather shocks, we find that the positive serial correlation is reversed. These findings suggest that the long-run impact of temporary crime-prevention efforts may be smaller than the short-run effects.

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File URL: http://jhr.uwpress.org/cgi/reprint/XLII/3/489
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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by University of Wisconsin Press in its journal Journal of Human Resources.

Volume (Year): 42 (2007)
Issue (Month): 3 ()
Pages:

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Handle: RePEc:uwp:jhriss:v:42:y:2007:i3:p489-527

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Web page: http://jhr.uwpress.org/

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  1. Gary S. Becker, 1974. "Crime and Punishment: An Economic Approach," NBER Chapters, in: Essays in the Economics of Crime and Punishment, pages 1-54 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  2. Edward L. Glaeser & Bruce Sacerdote & Jose A. Scheinkman, 1995. "Crime and Social Interactions," NBER Working Papers 5026, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  3. Henry S. Farber, 2003. "Is Tomorrow Another Day? The Labor Supply Of New York Cab Drivers," Working Papers 110, Princeton University, Department of Economics, Center for Economic Policy Studies..
  4. Lawrence Katz & Jeffrey R. Kling & Jens Ludwig, 2004. "Youth Criminal Behavior in the Moving to Opportunity Experiment," Working Papers 861, Princeton University, Department of Economics, Industrial Relations Section..
  5. Sah, Raaj K, 1991. "Social Osmosis and Patterns of Crime," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 99(6), pages 1272-95, December.
  6. Henry Farber, 2003. "Is Tomorrow Another Day? The Labor Supply of New York Cab Drivers," NBER Working Papers 9706, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  7. Jeffrey R. Kling & Jens Ludwig & Lawrence F. Katz, 2004. "Youth Criminal Behavior In The Moving To Opportunity Experiment," Working Papers 248, Princeton University, Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs, Center for Health and Wellbeing..
  8. Jeff Grogger & Charles Michalopoulos, 2000. "Welfare Dynamics under Time Limits," JCPR Working Papers 125, Northwestern University/University of Chicago Joint Center for Poverty Research.
  9. Brian A. Jacob & Lars Lefgren, 2003. "Are Idle Hands the Devil's Workshop? Incapacitation, Concentration and Juvenile Crime," NBER Working Papers 9653, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  10. Henry S. Farber, 2003. "Is Tomorrow Another Day? The Labor Supply of New York City Cab Drivers," Working Papers 852, Princeton University, Department of Economics, Industrial Relations Section..
  11. Lochner, L., 1999. "Education, Work, and Crime: Theory and Evidence," RCER Working Papers 465, University of Rochester - Center for Economic Research (RCER).
  12. Martha Starr-McCluer, 2000. "The effects of weather on retail sales," Finance and Economics Discussion Series 2000-08, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
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