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Frustration, euphoria, and violent crime

  • Munyo, Ignacio
  • Rossi, Martín A.

We exploit a series of natural experiments that use real crime data to investigate the effect of a violation of expectancies on violent crime. We study two types of violation of expectancies that generate the emotions of frustration and euphoria. Our empirical designs exploit differential expectations (as measured by the odds of soccer games in the betting market) while maintaining the outcome unchanged (a loss in a soccer game for frustration, a win in a soccer game for euphoria). We find that frustration is followed by a spike in violent crime whereas euphoria is followed by a reduction in violent crime. The two effects are concentrated in a narrow time window after the end of the game: 1h.

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Article provided by Elsevier in its journal Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization.

Volume (Year): 89 (2013)
Issue (Month): C ()
Pages: 136-142

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Handle: RePEc:eee:jeborg:v:89:y:2013:i:c:p:136-142
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  1. Botond Koszegi & Matthew Rabin, 2005. "A Model of Reference-Dependent Preferences," Levine's Bibliography 784828000000000341, UCLA Department of Economics.
  2. Mikael Priks, 2010. "Does Frustration Lead to Violence? Evidence from the Swedish Hooligan Scene," Kyklos, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 63(3), pages 450-460, 08.
  3. A. Craig MacKinlay, 1997. "Event Studies in Economics and Finance," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 35(1), pages 13-39, March.
  4. David Card & Gordon Dahl, 2009. "Family Violence and Football: The Effect of Unexpected Emotional Cues on Violent Behavior," NBER Working Papers 15497, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  5. Stefano DellaVigna, 2009. "Psychology and Economics: Evidence from the Field," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 47(2), pages 315-72, June.
  6. Gary S. Becker, 1974. "Crime and Punishment: An Economic Approach," NBER Chapters, in: Essays in the Economics of Crime and Punishment, pages 1-54 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  7. Andrade, Eduardo B. & Ariely, Dan, 2009. "The enduring impact of transient emotions on decision making," Organizational Behavior and Human Decision Processes, Elsevier, vol. 109(1), pages 1-8, May.
  8. Fama, Eugene F, et al, 1969. "The Adjustment of Stock Prices to New Information," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 10(1), pages 1-21, February.
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