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Does Violent Crime Deter Physical Activity?

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  • Janke, K.;
  • Propper, C.;
  • Shields, M.A.;
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    Abstract

    Crime has potentially important externalities. We investigate the relationship between recorded violent crime at the local area level and individuals’ participation in their local area through walking and physical activity. We use a sample of nearly 1 million people residing in over 320 local areas across England over the period 2005 to 2011. We show that concerns about personal safety co-move with police recorded violent crime. Our analysis controls for individual-level characteristics, non-time varying local authority effects, national time effects and local authority-specific trends in order to identify the causal effect of police recorded violent crime on walking and other physical activity. In addition, we exploit a natural experiment that caused a sudden increase in crime – the 2011 England riots – to identify the causal impact of a large exogenous crime shock on physical activity in a triple difference framework. Our results show a substantive deterrent effect of local area violent crime on walking, pointing to important effects of violent crime on non-victims. The adverse effect of an increase in local area violent crime from the 25th to the 75th percentile on walking is equivalent in size to a 6 C fall in average minimum temperature.

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    Bibliographic Info

    Paper provided by HEDG, c/o Department of Economics, University of York in its series Health, Econometrics and Data Group (HEDG) Working Papers with number 13/26.

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    Date of creation: Jul 2013
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    Handle: RePEc:yor:hectdg:13/26

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    Postal: HEDG/HERC, Department of Economics and Related Studies, University of York, York, YO10 5DD, United Kingdom
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    Keywords: Violent Crime; Walking; Physical Activity; England Riots;

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