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Does Violent Crime Deter Physical Activity?

  • Katharina Janke
  • Carol Propper
  • Michael Shields

    ()

Crime has been argued to have important externalities. We investigate the relationship between violent crime and an important type of behaviour: individuals’ participation in their local area through walking and physical activity. We use a sample of nearly 1 million people residing in over 320 small areas in England between 2005 and 2011. We show that concerns about personal safety co-move with police recorded violent crime. To identify the causal effect of recorded violent crime on walking and other physical activity we control for individual-level characteristics, non-time varying local authority effects, national time effects and local authority-specific trends. In addition, we exploit a natural experiment that caused a sudden increase in crime – the 2011 England riots – to identify the causal impact of a large exogenous crime shock on physical activity in a triple difference framework. Our results show a substantive deterrent effect of local area violent crime on walking, pointing to important effects of violent crime on non-victims. The adverse effect of an increase in local area violent crime from the 25th to the 75th percentile on walking is equivalent in size to a 6°C fall in average minimum temperature.

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File URL: http://www.bristol.ac.uk/cmpo/publications/papers/2013/wp312.pdf
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Paper provided by Department of Economics, University of Bristol, UK in its series The Centre for Market and Public Organisation with number 13/312.

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Length: 38 pages
Date of creation: Aug 2013
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:bri:cmpowp:13/312
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  1. Steve Gibbons, 2003. "The Costs of Urban Property Crime," CEP Discussion Papers dp0574, Centre for Economic Performance, LSE.
  2. Brian Bell & Richard Blundell & John Van Reenen, 1999. "Getting the unemployed back to work: the role of targeted wage subsidies," IFS Working Papers W99/12, Institute for Fiscal Studies.
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  11. Jeffrey Kling & Jeffrey B. Liebman & Lawrence F. Katz, 2001. "Bullets Don't Got No Name: Consequences of Fear in the Ghetto," JCPR Working Papers 225, Northwestern University/University of Chicago Joint Center for Poverty Research.
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  13. Braakmann, Nils, 2012. "How do individuals deal with victimization and victimization risk? Longitudinal evidence from Mexico," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 84(1), pages 335-344.
  14. Sundquist, Kristina & Theobald, Holger & Yang, Min & Li, Xinjun & Johansson, Sven-Erik & Sundquist, Jan, 2006. "Neighborhood violent crime and unemployment increase the risk of coronary heart disease: A multilevel study in an urban setting," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 62(8), pages 2061-2071, April.
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