Patents and Antitrust: Video Games and Violent Crime
AbstractPsychology studies of the effects of playing video games have found emotional responses and physical reactions associated with reinforced violent and anti-social attitudes. It is not clear, however, whether these markers are associated with increases in one's preferences for anti-social behaviors or whether virtual behaviors act to partially sate one's desire for actual antisocial behaviors. Violent or criminal behaviors in the virtual world and in the physical world could plausibly be either complements or substitutes. A finding of one versus the other would have diametrically opposing policy implications. I study the incidence of criminal activity as related to a proxy for increased gaming, the number of game stores, from a panel of US counties from 1994 to 2004. With fixed county and year effects, I can examine if changes relative increases in gaming in an area are associated with relative increases or decreases in criminal activity. For six of eight categories of crime, more game stores are associated with significant declines in crime rates. Proxies for other leisure activities, sports and movie viewing, do not have a similar effect. For confirmation, I also find that mortality rates, especially mortality rates stemming from injuries, also are negatively related to the number of game stores.
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Bibliographic InfoPaper provided by NET Institute in its series Working Papers with number 07-18.
Length: 23 pages
Date of creation: Sep 2007
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Web page: http://www.NETinst.org/
Video Games; Violence; Crime;
Find related papers by JEL classification:
- L86 - Industrial Organization - - Industry Studies: Services - - - Information and Internet Services; Computer Software
- D18 - Microeconomics - - Household Behavior - - - Consumer Protection
- I18 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Health - - - Government Policy; Regulation; Public Health
This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:
- NEP-ALL-2007-10-27 (All new papers)
- NEP-INO-2007-10-27 (Innovation)
- NEP-IPR-2007-10-27 (Intellectual Property Rights)
- NEP-SOC-2007-10-27 (Social Norms & Social Capital)
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