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Casinos, Crime, and Community Costs

  • Earl L. Grinols

    (Baylor University, and Terry College of Business)

  • David B. Mustard

    (University of Georgia and the Institute for the Study of Labor)

We examine the relationship between casinos and crime using county-level data for the United States between 1977 and 1996. Casinos were nonexistent outside Nevada before 1978, and expanded to many other states during our sample period. Most factors that reduce crime occur before or shortly after a casino opens, whereas those that increase crime, including problem and pathological gambling, occur over time. The results suggest that the effect on crime is low shortly after a casino opens, and grows over time. Roughly 8% of crime in casino counties in 1996 was attributable to casinos, costing the average adult $75 per year. © 2006 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/rest.2006.88.1.28
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Article provided by MIT Press in its journal Review of Economics and Statistics.

Volume (Year): 88 (2006)
Issue (Month): 1 (February)
Pages: 28-45

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Handle: RePEc:tpr:restat:v:88:y:2006:i:1:p:28-45
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  1. Grogger, Jeff, 1998. "Market Wages and Youth Crime," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 16(4), pages 756-91, October.
  2. David B. Mustard, 2003. "Reexamining Criminal Behavior: The Importance of Omitted Variable Bias," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 85(1), pages 205-211, February.
  3. William N. Evans & Julie H. Topoleski, 2002. "The Social and Economic Impact of Native American Casinos," NBER Working Papers 9198, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  4. Levitt, Steven D, 1998. "Why Do Increased Arrest Rates Appear to Reduce Crime: Deterrence, Incapacitation, or Measurement Error?," Economic Inquiry, Western Economic Association International, vol. 36(3), pages 353-72, July.
  5. Mocan, H Naci & Gittings, R Kaj, 2003. "Getting Off Death Row: Commuted Sentences and the Deterrent Effect of Capital Punishment," Journal of Law and Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 46(2), pages 453-78, October.
  6. Ricardo C. Gazel & Dan S. Rickman & William N. Thompson, 2001. "Casino gambling and crime: a panel study of Wisconsin counties," Managerial and Decision Economics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 22(1-3), pages 65-75.
  7. repec:cup:cbooks:9780521830133 is not listed on IDEAS
  8. H. Naci Mocan & R. Kaj Gittings, 2001. "Pardons, Executions and Homicide," NBER Working Papers 8639, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  9. Ian Ayres & Steven D. Levitt, 1997. "Measuring Positive Externalities from Unobservable Victim Precaution: An Empirical Analysis of Lojack," NBER Working Papers 5928, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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