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The Dynamics of Criminal Behavior: Evidence from Weather Shocks

Author

Listed:
  • Brian Jacob
  • Lars Lefgren
  • Enrico Moretti

Abstract

While the persistence of criminal activity is well documented, this may be due to persistence in the unobserved determinants of crime. There are good reasons to believe, however, that there may actually be a negative relationship between crime rates in a particular area due to temporal displacement. We exploit the correlation between weather and crime to examine the short-run dynamics of crime. Using variation in lagged crime rates due to weather shocks, we find that the positive serial correlation is reversed. These findings suggest that the long-run impact of temporary crime-prevention efforts may be smaller than the short-run effects.

Suggested Citation

  • Brian Jacob & Lars Lefgren & Enrico Moretti, 2007. "The Dynamics of Criminal Behavior: Evidence from Weather Shocks," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 42(3).
  • Handle: RePEc:uwp:jhriss:v:42:y:2007:i3:p489-527
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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Edward L. Glaeser & Bruce Sacerdote & José A. Scheinkman, 1996. "Crime and Social Interactions," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 111(2), pages 507-548.
    2. Henry Farber, 2003. "Is Tomorrow Another Day? The Labor Supply of New York Cab Drivers," NBER Working Papers 9706, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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    5. Henry S. Farber, 2003. "Is Tomorrow Another Day? The Labor Supply Of New York Cab Drivers," Working Papers 110, Princeton University, Department of Economics, Center for Economic Policy Studies..
    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.
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    8. Henry S. Farber, 2005. "Is Tomorrow Another Day? The Labor Supply of New York City Cabdrivers," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 113(1), pages 46-82, February.
    9. Henry S. Farber, 2003. "Is Tomorrow Another Day? The Labor Supply of New York City Cab Drivers," Working Papers 852, Princeton University, Department of Economics, Industrial Relations Section..
    10. Sah, Raaj K, 1991. "Social Osmosis and Patterns of Crime," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 99(6), pages 1272-1295, December.
    11. Brian A. Jacob & Lars Lefgren, 2003. "Are Idle Hands the Devil's Workshop? Incapacitation, Concentration, and Juvenile Crime," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 93(5), pages 1560-1577, December.
    12. Henry S. Farber, 2003. "Is Tomorrow Another Day? The Labor Supply of New York City Cab Drivers," Working Papers 852, Princeton University, Department of Economics, Industrial Relations Section..
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    14. Martha Starr-McCluer, 2000. "The effects of weather on retail sales," Finance and Economics Discussion Series 2000-08, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
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    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • J2 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor
    • K42 - Law and Economics - - Legal Procedure, the Legal System, and Illegal Behavior - - - Illegal Behavior and the Enforcement of Law

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