Hate groups and hate crime
This paper is the first to investigate the relationship between hate groups and hate crime empirically. We do so using panel data for the U.S. states between 2002 and 2008. Contrary to conventional wisdom, we find little evidence that hate groups are associated with hate crime in the United States. We find somewhat stronger evidence that economic hardship may be related to hate crime. However, evidence for the potential importance of economic factors remains weak. Further, we find that demographic variables are not significantly related to hate crime in the United States. Our results leave the question of what factors may drive hate crime in America unresolved. But they cast doubt on the popular perception that hate groups are among them.
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