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The Effect of Local Area Crime on Mental Health

Author

Listed:
  • Christian Dustmann

    () (University College London)

  • Francesco Fasani

    () (Queen Mary University)

Abstract

This paper analyses the effect of local crime rates on residents’ mental health. Using longitudinal information on individuals’ mental well-being, we address the problem of sorting and endogenous moving behaviour. We find that crime causes considerable mental distress for residents, mainly driven by property crime. Effects are stronger for females, and mainly related to depression and anxiety. The distress caused by one standard deviation increase in local crime is 2-4 times larger than that caused by a one standard deviation decrease in local employment, and about one seventh of the short-term impact of the 7 July 2005 London Bombings.

Suggested Citation

  • Christian Dustmann & Francesco Fasani, 2014. "The Effect of Local Area Crime on Mental Health," CReAM Discussion Paper Series 1428, Centre for Research and Analysis of Migration (CReAM), Department of Economics, University College London.
  • Handle: RePEc:crm:wpaper:1428
    as

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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Janke, K. & Propper, C. & Shields, M.A., 2013. "Does Violent Crime Deter Physical Activity?," Health, Econometrics and Data Group (HEDG) Working Papers 13/26, HEDG, c/o Department of Economics, University of York.
    2. Clark, Andrew E & Oswald, Andrew J, 1994. "Unhappiness and Unemployment," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 104(424), pages 648-659, May.
    3. Lawrence F. Katz & Jeffrey R. Kling & Jeffrey B. Liebman, 2001. "Moving to Opportunity in Boston: Early Results of a Randomized Mobility Experiment," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 116(2), pages 607-654.
    4. Timothy Besley & Hannes Mueller, 2012. "Estimating the Peace Dividend: The Impact of Violence on House Prices in Northern Ireland," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 102(2), pages 810-833, April.
    5. 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.
    6. Giles Atkinson & Andrew Healey & Susana Mourato, 2005. "Valuing the costs of violent crime: a stated preference approach," Oxford Economic Papers, Oxford University Press, vol. 57(4), pages 559-585, October.
    7. Richard T. Carson, 2012. "Contingent Valuation: A Practical Alternative When Prices Aren't Available," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 26(4), pages 27-42, Fall.
    8. Gary S. Becker & Yona Rubinstein, 2011. "Fear and the Response to Terrorism: An Economic Analysis," CEP Discussion Papers dp1079, Centre for Economic Performance, LSE.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    More about this item

    Keywords

    neighbourhoodeffects; mentalwellbeing; fearofcrime;

    JEL classification:

    • I18 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Health - - - Government Policy; Regulation; Public Health
    • K42 - Law and Economics - - Legal Procedure, the Legal System, and Illegal Behavior - - - Illegal Behavior and the Enforcement of Law
    • R23 - Urban, Rural, Regional, Real Estate, and Transportation Economics - - Household Analysis - - - Regional Migration; Regional Labor Markets; Population

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