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The Effect of Local Area Crime on Mental Health

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  • Dustmann, Christian

    ()
    (University College London)

  • Fasani, Francesco

    ()
    (Queen Mary, University of London)

Abstract

This paper analyses the effect of local crime rates on the mental well-being of residents. Our identification strategy addresses the problem of sorting, and endogenous moving behaviour. We find that crime causes considerable mental distress of residents, and that these effects are mainly driven by property crime. However, individuals react also to violent crime, in particular in areas individuals may be exposed to when following their daily routines, such as travel to work. Local crime creates more distress for females, and is mainly related to depression and anxiety. The impact on mental well-being is large: We find that the increase in mental distress following a one standard deviation increase in local crime is about 2-4 times as large as that caused by a one standard deviation decrease in local employment, and about one seventh of the effect experienced by in the direct aftermath of the London Bombings of Jul 7th, 2005.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA) in its series IZA Discussion Papers with number 7711.

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Length: 66 pages
Date of creation: Nov 2013
Date of revision:
Publication status: forthcoming in: Economic Journal
Handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp7711

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Keywords: mental wellbeing; neighbourhood effects; fear of crime;

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  1. Giles Atkinson & Andrew Healey & Susana Mourato, 2005. "Valuing the costs of violent crime: a stated preference approach," Oxford Economic Papers, Oxford University Press, vol. 57(4), pages 559-585, October.
  2. Timothy Besley & Hannes Mueller, 2009. "Estimating the peace dividend: the impact of violence on house prices in Northern Ireland," LSE Research Online Documents on Economics, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library 25427, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library.
  3. 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.
  4. Francesca Cornaglia & Naomi E. Feldman & Andrew Leigh, 2014. "Crime and Mental Well-Being," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 49(1), pages 110-140.
  5. Gary S. Becker & Yona Rubinstein, 2011. "Fear and the Response to Terrorism: An Economic Analysis," CEP Discussion Papers, Centre for Economic Performance, LSE dp1079, Centre for Economic Performance, LSE.
  6. Richard T. Carson, 2012. "Contingent Valuation: A Practical Alternative When Prices Aren't Available," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, American Economic Association, vol. 26(4), pages 27-42, Fall.
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Cited by:
  1. Janke, Katharina & Propper, Carol & Shields, Michael, 2013. "Does Violent Crime Deter Physical Activity?," CEPR Discussion Papers, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers 9605, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  2. repec:bri:cmpowp:13/312 is not listed on IDEAS

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