The Dynamics of Criminal Behavior: Evidence from Weather Shocks
AbstractThe persistence of criminal activity is well documented. While such serial correlation may be evidence of social interactions in the production of crime, it may also be due to the persistence of unobserved determinants of crime. Moreover, there are good reasons to believe that, particularly over a short time horizon, there may actually be a negative relationship between crime rates in a particular area due to displacement. In this paper, we exploit the correlation between weather and crime to examine the short-run dynamics of criminal behavior. Drawing on crime-level data from the FBI's National Incident-Based Reporting System, we construct a panel of weekly crime data for 116 jurisdictions. Using the plausibly exogenous variation in lagged crime rates due to unexpected weather shocks, we find that the strong positive serial correlation documented in OLS is reversed. A ten percent increase in violent crime in one week is associated with a 2.6 percent reduction in crime the following week. The corresponding reduction for property crime is 2.0 percent. Additional displacement appears to occur over a longer time horizon. Furthermore, the results do not appear to be driven by persistence in weather conditions over time or displacement of non-criminal economic activity. These findings suggest that the long-run impact of temporary crime prevention efforts may be smaller than the short-run effects.
Download InfoIf you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.
Bibliographic InfoPaper provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Working Papers with number 10739.
Date of creation: Sep 2004
Date of revision:
Note: PE LS
Contact details of provider:
Postal: National Bureau of Economic Research, 1050 Massachusetts Avenue Cambridge, MA 02138, U.S.A.
Web page: http://www.nber.org
More information through EDIRC
Other versions of this item:
- Brian Jacob & Lars Lefgren & Enrico Moretti, 2007. "The Dynamics of Criminal Behavior: Evidence from Weather Shocks," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 42(3).
- 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.
- J2 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor
- K42 - Law and Economics - - Legal Procedure, the Legal System, and Illegal Behavior - - - Illegal Behavior and the Enforcement of Law
This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:
- NEP-ALL-2004-09-30 (All new papers)
- NEP-LAW-2004-09-30 (Law & Economics)
- NEP-URE-2004-09-30 (Urban & Real Estate Economics)
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:
- Gary S. Becker, 1974.
"Crime and Punishment: An Economic Approach,"
in: Essays in the Economics of Crime and Punishment, pages 1-54
National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- 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.
- 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.
- Edward E. Glaeser & Bruce Sacerdote & Jose A. Scheinkman, 1995. "Crime and Social Interactions," Harvard Institute of Economic Research Working Papers 1738, Harvard - Institute of Economic Research.
- Edward L. Glaeser & Bruce Sacerdote & Jose A. Scheinkman, 1995. "Crime and Social Interactions," NBER Working Papers 5026, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- 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..
- 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..
- 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.
- Sah, R.K., 1990. "Social Osmosis And Patterns Of Crime: A Dynamic Economic Analysis," Papers 609, Yale - Economic Growth Center.
- 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.).
- Jeff Grogger & Charles Michalopoulos, 1999.
"Welfare Dynamics Under Time Limits,"
NBER Working Papers
7353, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- 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..
- Brian A. Jacob & Lars Lefgren, 2003.
"Are Idle Hands the Devil's Workshop? Incapacitation, Concentration, and Juvenile Crime,"
American Economic Review,
American Economic Association, vol. 93(5), pages 1560-1577, December.
- 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.
- Lochner, L., 1999. "Education, Work, and Crime: Theory and Evidence," RCER Working Papers 465, University of Rochester - Center for Economic Research (RCER).
- 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..
This item has more than 25 citations. To prevent cluttering this page, these citations are listed on a separate page. reading list or among the top items on IDEAS.Access and download statisticsgeneral information about how to correct material in RePEc.
For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: ().
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.