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Crime, Urban Flight, And The Consequences For Cities

  • Julie Berry Cullen
  • Steven D. Levitt

This paper analyzes the link between rising city crime rates and urban flight. Each additional reported crime is associated with a roughly one-person decline in city population. Almost all of the crime-related population decline is attributable to increased out-migration rather than a decrease in new arrivals. Households that leave the city because of crime are much more likely to remain within the Standard Metropolitan Statistical Area (SMSA) than those that leave the city for other reasons. Migration decisions of highly educated households and those with children are particularly responsive to changes in crime. Causality appears to run from rising crime rates to city depopulation. © 1999 by the President and Fellows of Harvard College and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology

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File URL: http://www.mitpressjournals.org/doi/pdf/10.1162/003465399558030
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Article provided by MIT Press in its journal The Review of Economics and Statistics.

Volume (Year): 81 (1999)
Issue (Month): 2 (May)
Pages: 159-169

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Handle: RePEc:tpr:restat:v:81:y:1999:i:2:p:159-169
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  1. Blanchard, Olivier J. & Summers, Lawrence H., 1987. "Fiscal increasing returns, hysteresis, real wages and unemployment," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 31(3), pages 543-560, April.
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  9. Olivier Jean Blanchard & Lawrence F. Katz, 1992. "Regional Evolutions," Brookings Papers on Economic Activity, Economic Studies Program, The Brookings Institution, vol. 23(1), pages 1-76.
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  12. Smith, Barton A., 1978. "Measuring the value of urban amenities," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 5(3), pages 370-387, July.
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  14. Case, A.C. & Katz, L.F., 1991. "The Company You Keep: The Effects Of Family And Neighborhood On Disadvantaged Younths," Harvard Institute of Economic Research Working Papers 1555, Harvard - Institute of Economic Research.
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  16. Helen F. Ladd & Julie B. Wilson, 1982. "Who supports tax limitations: Evidence from massachusetts' proposition 2�," Journal of Policy Analysis and Management, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 2(2), pages 256-279.
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