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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.

Suggested Citation

  • Munyo, Ignacio & Rossi, Martín A., 2013. "Frustration, euphoria, and violent crime," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 89(C), pages 136-142.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:jeborg:v:89:y:2013:i:c:p:136-142
    DOI: 10.1016/j.jebo.2013.02.005

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. 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.
    2. Botond Kőszegi & Matthew Rabin, 2006. "A Model of Reference-Dependent Preferences," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 121(4), pages 1133-1165.
    3. S. Dellavigna., 2011. "Psychology and Economics: Evidence from the Field," VOPROSY ECONOMIKI, N.P. Redaktsiya zhurnala "Voprosy Economiki", vol. 5.
    4. David Card & Gordon B. Dahl, 2011. "Family Violence and Football: The Effect of Unexpected Emotional Cues on Violent Behavior," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 126(1), pages 103-143.
    5. 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.
    6. Mikael Priks, 2010. "Does Frustration Lead to Violence? Evidence from the Swedish Hooligan Scene," Kyklos, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 63(3), pages 450-460, August.
    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. A. Craig MacKinlay, 1997. "Event Studies in Economics and Finance," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 35(1), pages 13-39, March.
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    Cited by:

    1. Montolio, Daniel & Planells-Struse, Simón, 2016. "How time shapes crime: The temporal impacts of football matches on crime," Regional Science and Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 61(C), pages 99-113.
    2. Bruno Cardinale Lagomarsino & Martín Rossi, 2017. "Subsidized Home–ownership Programs, Transaction Costs, and Domestic Violence," Working Papers 129, Universidad de San Andres, Departamento de Economia, revised Apr 2017.
    3. Alex Dickson & Colin Jennings & Gary Koop, 2016. "Domestic Violence and Football in Glasgow: Are Reference Points Relevant?," Oxford Bulletin of Economics and Statistics, Department of Economics, University of Oxford, vol. 78(1), pages 1-21, February.
    4. repec:eee:jeborg:v:145:y:2018:i:c:p:435-448 is not listed on IDEAS
    5. Persson, Emil, 2016. "Frustration and Anger in Games: A First Empirical Test of the Theory," Working Papers in Economics 647, University of Gothenburg, Department of Economics.

    More about this item


    Violation of expectancies; Soccer; Natural experiment; Robbery; Theft; Aggression;

    JEL classification:

    • K42 - Law and Economics - - Legal Procedure, the Legal System, and Illegal Behavior - - - Illegal Behavior and the Enforcement of Law


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