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Crime and Mental Wellbeing

  • Francesca Cornaglia
  • Andrew Leigh

Most estimates of the cost of crime focus on victims. Yet it is plausible that an even larger cost of crime occurs via its indirect impact on the mental wellbeing of non-victims. To test how crime affects individuals' mental outcomes, we exploit detailed panel data on mental wellbeing, allowing us to observe the relationship between changes in crime in a local area and changes in the mental wellbeing of resident non-victims in that area (controlling for changes in local economic conditions). Our results suggest that increases in crime rates have a negative impact on the mental wellbeing of residents, with the biggest impacts arising from violent crime. We also find that local press coverage of criminal activity enhances the effect of crime on mental well-being.

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Paper provided by Centre for Economic Performance, LSE in its series CEP Discussion Papers with number dp1049.

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Date of creation: Apr 2011
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Handle: RePEc:cep:cepdps:dp1049
Contact details of provider: Web page: http://cep.lse.ac.uk/_new/publications/series.asp?prog=CEP

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  1. Brian Jacob & Lars Lefgren & Enrico Moretti, 2004. "The Dynamics of Criminal Behavior: Evidence from Weather Shocks," NBER Working Papers 10739, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  2. Leigh L. Linden & Jonah E. Rockoff, 2006. "There Goes the Neighborhood? Estimates of the Impact of Crime Risk on Property Values From Megan's Laws," NBER Working Papers 12253, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  3. Steve Gibbons, 2003. "The Costs of Urban Property Crime," CEP Discussion Papers dp0574, Centre for Economic Performance, LSE.
  4. Carol Propper & Simon Burgess & Anne Bolster & George Leckie & Kelvyn Jones & Ron Johnston, 2007. "The Impact of Neighbourhood on the Income and Mental Health of British Social Renters," Urban Studies, Urban Studies Journal Limited, vol. 44(2), pages 393-415, February.
  5. Whitley, Rob & Prince, Martin, 2005. "Fear of crime, mobility and mental health in inner-city London, UK," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 61(8), pages 1678-1688, October.
  6. Lawrence F. Katz & Jeffrey R. Kling & Jeffrey B. Liebman, 2000. "Moving to Opportunity in Boston: Early Results of a Randomized Mobility Experiment," NBER Working Papers 7973, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  7. Frijters, Paul & Johnston, David W. & Shields, Michael A., 2008. "Happiness Dynamics with Quarterly Life Event Data," IZA Discussion Papers 3604, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  8. Francesca Cornaglia & Naomi E. Feldman & Andrew Leigh, 2014. "Crime and Mental Well-Being," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 49(1), pages 110-140.
  9. Frijters, Paul & Johnston, David W. & Shields, Michael A., 2010. "Mental Health and Labour Market Participation: Evidence from IV Panel Data Models," IZA Discussion Papers 4883, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  10. Brazier, John & Roberts, Jennifer & Deverill, Mark, 2002. "The estimation of a preference-based measure of health from the SF-36," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 21(2), pages 271-292, March.
  11. Raphael, Steven & Winter-Ebmer, Rudolf, 1999. "Identifying the Effect of Unemployment on Crime," CEPR Discussion Papers 2129, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  12. Michael Shields & Stephen Wheatley Price & Mark Wooden, 2009. "Life satisfaction and the economic and social characteristics of neighbourhoods," Journal of Population Economics, Springer, vol. 22(2), pages 421-443, April.
  13. Lawrence Katz & Jeffrey R. Kling & B. Jeffrey Liebman & Lisa Sanbonmatsu, 2004. "Moving to Opportunity and Tranquility: Neighborhood Effects on Adult Economic Self-Sufficiency and Health From a Randomized Housing Voucher Experiment," Working Papers 860, Princeton University, Department of Economics, Industrial Relations Section..
  14. Thaler, Richard, 1978. "A note on the value of crime control: Evidence from the property market," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 5(1), pages 137-145, January.
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