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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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  1. Timothy K.M. Beatty & Erling Røed Larsen & Dag Einar Sommervoll, 2007. "Driven to Drink. Sin Taxes Near a Border," Discussion Papers 507, Research Department of Statistics Norway.
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  16. Michael R. Ward, 2007. "Teaching Digital Piracy," Working Papers 0701, University of Texas at Arlington, Department of Economics.
  17. George Lisa M, 2008. "The Internet and the Market for Daily Newspapers," The B.E. Journal of Economic Analysis & Policy, De Gruyter, vol. 8(1), pages 1-33, July.
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Citations

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. Jason Chan & Anindya Ghose & Robert Seamans, 2013. "The Internet and Hate Crime: Offline Spillovers from Online Access," Working Papers 13-02, NET Institute.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.

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