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Crime's Impact on the Survival Prospects of Young Urban Small Businesses


  • Timothy Bates
  • Alicia Robb


High prevailing levels of criminal activity have numerous impacts on the viability of urban small businesses and the various impacts are not uniformly negative. It is the negative impacts, however, that are most often noted. Either the perception or reality of rampant crime can scare away customers, potential employees, lending institutions, even casualty insurance underwriters. Yet, competitors may also be driven away. Operating in a high-crime area can be advantageous, on balance, for some firms. Our analysis of nearly 5,000 urban businesses started between 1986 and 1992 indicates that those most seriously impacted by crime exhibit no measureable disadvantage regarding firm size, capitalization, survival rates, or other traits, relative to firms whose owners report that crime has not impacted them negatively.

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  • Timothy Bates & Alicia Robb, 2007. "Crime's Impact on the Survival Prospects of Young Urban Small Businesses," Working Papers 07-30, Center for Economic Studies, U.S. Census Bureau.
  • Handle: RePEc:cen:wpaper:07-30

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    Cited by:

    1. Rosenthal, Stuart S. & Ross, Amanda, 2010. "Violent crime, entrepreneurship, and cities," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 67(1), pages 135-149, January.
    2. Bart Sleutjes & Beate Völker, 2012. "The Role Of The Neighbourhood For Firm Relocation," Tijdschrift voor Economische en Sociale Geografie, Royal Dutch Geographical Society KNAG, vol. 103(2), pages 240-249, April.
    3. George Saridakis & Anne-Marie Mohammed & Sandra Sookram, 2015. "Does Crime Affect Firm Innovation? Evidence from Trinidad and Tobago," Economics Bulletin, AccessEcon, vol. 35(2), pages 1205-1215.
    4. repec:eee:touman:v:60:y:2017:i:c:p:257-269 is not listed on IDEAS
    5. Pascal Beckers & Bart Sleutjes, 2014. "Neighbourhood Spatial Order, the Local Economy and Firm Mobility in Urban Areas of the Netherlands," International Journal of Urban and Regional Research, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 38(6), pages 2103-2122, November.

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