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Estimates of the Impact of Crime Risk on Property Values from Megan's Laws

Author

Listed:
  • Leigh Linden
  • Jonah E. Rockoff

Abstract

We estimate the willingness to pay for reductions in crime risk using the location and move-in dates of sex offenders. We find significant effects of sex offenders' locations that are geographically localized. House prices within 0.1 miles of a sex offender fall by 4 percent on average. We then use this finding to estimate the costs to victims of sexual offenses, and find costs of over $1 million per victim--far greater than previous estimates. However, we cannot reject the alternative hypotheses that individuals overestimate risks posed by offenders or that living near an offender poses significant costs exclusive of crime risk.

Suggested Citation

  • Leigh Linden & Jonah E. Rockoff, 2008. "Estimates of the Impact of Crime Risk on Property Values from Megan's Laws," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 98(3), pages 1103-1127, June.
  • Handle: RePEc:aea:aecrev:v:98:y:2008:i:3:p:1103-27
    Note: DOI: 10.1257/aer.98.3.1103
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    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • K42 - Law and Economics - - Legal Procedure, the Legal System, and Illegal Behavior - - - Illegal Behavior and the Enforcement of Law
    • R31 - Urban, Rural, Regional, Real Estate, and Transportation Economics - - Real Estate Markets, Spatial Production Analysis, and Firm Location - - - Housing Supply and Markets
    • R23 - Urban, Rural, Regional, Real Estate, and Transportation Economics - - Household Analysis - - - Regional Migration; Regional Labor Markets; Population

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