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Thieves, Thugs, and Neighborhood Poverty

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  • Bjerk, David

    ()
    (Claremont McKenna College)

Abstract

This paper develops a model of crime analyzing how such behavior is associated with individual and neighborhood poverty. The model shows that even under relatively minimal assumptions, a connection between individual poverty and both property and violent crimes will arise, and moreover, "neighborhood" effects can develop, but will differ substantially in nature across crime types. A key implication is that greater economic segregation in a city should have no effect or a negative effect on property crime, but a positive effect on violent crime. Using IV methods, I show this implication to be consistent with the empirical evidence.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA) in its series IZA Discussion Papers with number 4470.

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Length: 44 pages
Date of creation: Oct 2009
Date of revision:
Publication status: published in: Journal of Urban Economics, 2010, 68 (3), 231 - 246
Handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp4470

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Keywords: instrumental variables; poverty; crime; neighborhood effects; segregation; public housing;

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References

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  1. O'Flaherty, Brendan & Sethi, Rajiv, 2010. "The racial geography of street vice," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 67(3), pages 270-286, May.
  2. Caroline M. Hoxby, 2007. "Does Competition Among Public Schools Benefit Students and Taxpayers? Reply," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 97(5), pages 2038-2055, December.
  3. Antoni Calvó-Armengol & Yves Zenou, 2004. "Social Networks And Crime Decisions: The Role Of Social Structure In Facilitating Delinquent Behavior," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 45(3), pages 939-958, 08.
  4. Thierry Verdier & Yves Zenou, 2004. "Racial Beliefs, Location, And The Causes Of Crime," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 45(3), pages 731-760, 08.
  5. Jacob, Brian A. & Lefgren, Lars & Moretti, Enrico, 2005. "The Dynamics of Criminal Behavior: Evidence from Weather Shocks," Working Paper Series rwp05-003, Harvard University, John F. Kennedy School of Government.
  6. O'Flaherty, Brendan & Sethi, Rajiv, 2010. "Homicide in black and white," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 68(3), pages 215-230, November.
  7. Bayer, Patrick & McMillan, Robert & Rueben, Kim S., 2004. "What drives racial segregation? New evidence using Census microdata," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 56(3), pages 514-535, November.
  8. Dan Silverman, 2004. "Street Crime And Street Culture," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 45(3), pages 761-786, 08.
  9. Glaeser, Edward L & Sacerdote, Bruce & Scheinkman, Jose A, 1996. "Crime and Social Interactions," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 111(2), pages 507-48, May.
  10. Jeffrey R. Kling & Jens Ludwig & Lawrence F. Katz, 2004. "Neighborhood Effects on Crime for Female and Male Youth: Evidence from a Randomized Housing Voucher Experiment," NBER Working Papers 10777, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  11. Julie Berry Cullen & Steven D. Levitt, 1999. "Crime, Urban Flight, And The Consequences For Cities," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 81(2), pages 159-169, May.
  12. James H. Stock & Motohiro Yogo, 2002. "Testing for Weak Instruments in Linear IV Regression," NBER Technical Working Papers 0284, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  13. Rajiv Sethi & Rohini Somanathan, 2002. "Inequality and segregation," Indian Statistical Institute, Planning Unit, New Delhi Discussion Papers 02-06, Indian Statistical Institute, New Delhi, India.
  14. Brendan O'Flaherty & Rajiv Sethi, 2007. "Peaceable kingdoms and war zones: Pre-emption, ballistics and murder in Newark," Discussion Papers 0708-02, Columbia University, Department of Economics.
  15. D. Lee Heavner & Lance Lochner, 2002. "Social Networks and the Aggregation on Individual Decisions," NBER Working Papers 8979, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  16. O'Flaherty, Brendan & Sethi, Rajiv, 2007. "Crime and segregation," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 64(3-4), pages 391-405.
  17. Helsley, Robert W. & Strange, William C., 2005. "Mixed markets and crime," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 89(7), pages 1251-1275, July.
  18. Patacchini, Eleonora & Zenou, Yves, 2008. "The strength of weak ties in crime," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 52(2), pages 209-236, February.
  19. Cutler, David M & Glaeser, Edward L, 1997. "Are Ghettos Good or Bad?," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 112(3), pages 827-72, August.
  20. Jesse Rothstein, 2005. "Does Competition Among Public Schools Benefit Students and Taxpayers? A Comment on Hoxby (2000)," NBER Working Papers 11215, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  21. Brock,W.A. & Durlauf,S.N., 2000. "Discrete choice with social interactions," Working papers 7, Wisconsin Madison - Social Systems.
  22. Ferrer, Rosa, 2010. "Breaking the law when others do: A model of law enforcement with neighborhood externalities," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 54(2), pages 163-180, February.
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Citations

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Cited by:
  1. O'Flaherty, Brendan & Sethi, Rajiv, 2010. "Homicide in black and white," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 68(3), pages 215-230, November.
  2. Dionissi Aliprantis, 2013. "Human capital in the inner city," Working Paper 1302, Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland.
  3. Freedman, Matthew & Owens, Emily G., 2011. "Low-income housing development and crime," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 70(2), pages 115-131.

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