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Broadband Internet: An Information Superhighway to Sex Crime?

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Author Info

  • Bhuller, Manudeep

    ()
    (Statistics Norway)

  • Havnes, Tarjei

    ()
    (University of Oslo)

  • Leuven, Edwin

    ()
    (University of Oslo)

  • Mogstad, Magne

    ()
    (University of Chicago)

Abstract

Does internet use trigger sex crime? We use unique Norwegian data on crime and internet adoption to shed light on this question. A public program with limited funding rolled out broadband access points in 2000-2008, and provides plausibly exogenous variation in internet use. Our instrumental variables and fixed effect estimates show that internet use is associated with a substantial increase in reported incidences of rape and other sex crimes. We present a theoretical framework that highlights three mechanisms for how internet use may affect reported sex crime, namely a reporting effect, a matching effect on potential offenders and victims, and a direct effect on crime propensity. Our results indicate that the direct effect is non-negligible and positive, plausibly as a result of increased consumption of pornography.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA) in its series IZA Discussion Papers with number 5675.

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Length: 44 pages
Date of creation: Apr 2011
Date of revision:
Publication status: published in: Review of Economic Studies, 2013, [Online First]
Handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp5675

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Related research

Keywords: pornography; sex crimes; instrumental variables; broadband; rape; internet;

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References

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Blog mentions

As found by EconAcademics.org, the blog aggregator for Economics research:
  1. The internet increases sex crime. Who’da thunk?
    by Nicholas Gruen in Club Troppo on 2011-05-15 08:15:52
Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.
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Cited by:
  1. D'Este, Rocco, 2014. "The Effect of Stolen Goods Markets on Crime: Evidence from a Quasi - Natural Experiment," The Warwick Economics Research Paper Series (TWERPS) 1040, University of Warwick, Department of Economics.
  2. Owsiński, Jan W. & Pielak, Aneta M. & Sęp, Krzysztof, 2013. "Smartness, culture and local authority ICT awareness: an empirical enquiry for a province in Poland," Studies in Agricultural Economics, Research Institute for Agricultural Economics, vol. 115(2), June.
  3. Liang, Che-Yuan & Nordin, Mattias, 2012. "The Internet, News Consumption, and Political Attitudes," Working Paper Series, Center for Fiscal Studies 2012:10, Uppsala University, Department of Economics.
  4. Jason Chan & Anindya Ghose & Robert Seamans, 2013. "The Internet and Hate Crime: Offline Spillovers from Online Access," Working Papers 13-02, NET Institute.

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