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Crime, weather, and climate change

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  • Ranson, Matthew

Abstract

This paper estimates the impact of climate change on the prevalence of criminal activity in the United States. The analysis is based on a 30-year panel of monthly crime and weather data for 2997 US counties. I identify the effect of weather on monthly crime by using a semi-parametric bin estimator and controlling for state-by-month and county-by-year fixed effects. The results show that temperature has a strong positive effect on criminal behavior, with little evidence of lagged impacts. Between 2010 and 2099, climate change will cause an additional 22,000 murders, 180,000 cases of rape, 1.2 million aggravated assaults, 2.3 million simple assaults, 260,000 robberies, 1.3 million burglaries, 2.2 million cases of larceny, and 580,000 cases of vehicle theft in the United States.

Suggested Citation

  • Ranson, Matthew, 2014. "Crime, weather, and climate change," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 67(3), pages 274-302.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:jeeman:v:67:y:2014:i:3:p:274-302
    DOI: 10.1016/j.jeem.2013.11.008
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. Marshall Burke & Solomon M. Hsiang & Edward Miguel, 2015. "Climate and Conflict," Annual Review of Economics, Annual Reviews, vol. 7(1), pages 577-617, August.
    2. Bruederle, Anna & Peters, Jörg & Roberts, Gareth, 2017. "Weather and crime in South Africa," Ruhr Economic Papers 739, RWI - Leibniz-Institut für Wirtschaftsforschung, Ruhr-University Bochum, TU Dortmund University, University of Duisburg-Essen.
    3. repec:spr:nathaz:v:87:y:2017:i:2:d:10.1007_s11069-017-2804-8 is not listed on IDEAS
    4. Evan Herrnstadt & Erich Muehlegger, 2015. "Air Pollution and Criminal Activity: Evidence from Chicago Microdata," NBER Working Papers 21787, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    5. Derek Lemoine, 2017. "Expect Above Average Temperatures: Identifying the Economic Impacts of Climate Change," NBER Working Papers 23549, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    6. repec:wsi:ccexxx:v:08:y:2017:i:01:n:s2010007817500038 is not listed on IDEAS
    7. Jean-François Maystadt & Olivier Ecker, 2014. "Extreme Weather and Civil War: Does Drought Fuel Conflict in Somalia through Livestock Price Shocks?," American Journal of Agricultural Economics, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association, vol. 96(4), pages 1157-1182.
    8. Rohit Ticku, 2015. "Riot Rewards? Study of BJP's Electoral Performance and Hindu Muslim Riots," IHEID Working Papers HEIDWP19-2015, Economics Section, The Graduate Institute of International Studies.
    9. Louis-Philippe Beland & Daniel A. Brent, 2017. "Traffic and Crime," Departmental Working Papers 2017-02, Department of Economics, Louisiana State University.
    10. repec:eee:jeborg:v:145:y:2018:i:c:p:435-448 is not listed on IDEAS
    11. Francois Cohen, Fidel Gonzalez, 2018. "Understanding interpersonal violence: the impact of temperatures in Mexico," GRI Working Papers 291, Grantham Research Institute on Climate Change and the Environment.
    12. Dennis M. Mares & Kenneth W. Moffett, 2016. "Climate change and interpersonal violence: a “global” estimate and regional inequities," Climatic Change, Springer, vol. 135(2), pages 297-310, March.
    13. Ifft, Jennifer & Jodlowski, Margaret, 2016. "Is ICE Freezing US Agriculture? The Impact of Local Immigration Enforcement on Farm Profitability and Structure," 2016 Annual Meeting, July 31-August 2, 2016, Boston, Massachusetts 235950, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association.
    14. Leard, Benjamin & Roth, Kevin, 2015. "Weather, Traffic Accidents, and Climate Change," Discussion Papers dp-15-19, Resources For the Future.
    15. Richard Akresh, 2016. "Climate Change, Conflict, and Children," HiCN Working Papers 221, Households in Conflict Network.
    16. Solomon Hsiang & Paulina Oliva & Reed Walker, 2017. "The Distribution of Environmental Damages," NBER Working Papers 23882, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    17. repec:spr:nathaz:v:89:y:2017:i:2:d:10.1007_s11069-017-2998-9 is not listed on IDEAS
    18. 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.
    19. Solomon Hsiang & Marshall Burke, 2014. "Climate, conflict, and social stability: what does the evidence say?," Climatic Change, Springer, vol. 123(1), pages 39-55, March.
    20. Jamie Mullins & Corey White, 2018. "Temperature, Climate Change, and Mental Health: Evidence from the Spectrum of Mental Health Outcomes," Working Papers 1801, California Polytechnic State University, Department of Economics.
    21. Melissa Dell & Benjamin F. Jones & Benjamin A. Olken, 2013. "What Do We Learn from the Weather? The New Climate-Economy Literature," NBER Working Papers 19578, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    22. Neumann James E. & Strzepek Kenneth, 2014. "State of the literature on the economic impacts of climate change in the United States," Journal of Benefit-Cost Analysis, De Gruyter, vol. 5(3), pages 411-443, December.

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    Keywords

    Climate change; Crime; Weather;

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