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Racial Beliefs , Location and the Causes of Crime

  • Verdier, T.
  • Zenou, Y.

The aim of this paper is to show that both location and race matter for explaining the high criminality rate in cities. In our model, blacks and whites are identical in all respects. However, if, for no economic but for extrinsic reasons, everybody (including blacks) believes that blacks are more criminals than whites, then we show that blacks will (for rational reasons) become on average more criminals than whites, will earn lower wages and will reside in ghettos located far away from legal activities. There is a vicious self-fulfilling circle in which blacks cannot escape because both location and labor market outcomes reinforce each other to imply high crime rates among blacks living in cities.

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Paper provided by DELTA (Ecole normale supérieure) in its series DELTA Working Papers with number 2000-26.

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Length: 41 pages
Date of creation: 2000
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:del:abcdef:2000-26
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  1. Moro, Andrea & Norman, Peter, 2004. "A general equilibrium model of statistical discrimination," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 114(1), pages 1-30, January.
  2. Richard B. Freeman, 1991. "Crime and the Employment of Disadvantaged Youths," NBER Working Papers 3875, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  3. Grogger, Jeff, 1998. "Market Wages and Youth Crime," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 16(4), pages 756-91, October.
  4. David M. Cutler & Edward L. Glaeser, 1995. "Are Ghettos Good or Bad?," NBER Working Papers 5163, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  5. George J. Mailath & Larry Samuelson & Avner Shaked, . ""Endogenous Inequality in Integrated Labor Markets with Two-sided Search''," CARESS Working Papres 98-06, University of Pennsylvania Center for Analytic Research and Economics in the Social Sciences.
  6. Edward L. Glaeser & Matthew E. Kahn & Jordan Rappaport, 2000. "Why Do the Poor Live in Cities?," NBER Working Papers 7636, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  7. Edward E. Glaeser & Bruce Sacerdote & Jose A. Scheinkman, 1995. "Crime and Social Interactions," Harvard Institute of Economic Research Working Papers 1738, Harvard - Institute of Economic Research.
  8. Gary S. Becker, 1968. "Crime and Punishment: An Economic Approach," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 76, pages 169.
  9. Summers, Lawrence H. & Dickens, William T. & Katz, Lawrence F. & Lang, Kevin, 1989. "Employee Crime and the Monitoring Puzzle," Scholarly Articles 3645199, Harvard University Department of Economics.
  10. Verdier, Thierry & Zenou, Yves, 2000. "Racial Beliefs, Location And The Causes Of Crime," CEPR Discussion Papers 2455, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  11. Ihlanfeldt, Keith, 2002. "Spatial mismatch in the labor market and racial differences in neighborhood crime," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 76(1), pages 73-76, June.
  12. Jens Ludwig & Greg J. Duncan & Paul Hirschfield, 2001. "Urban Poverty And Juvenile Crime: Evidence From A Randomized Housing-Mobility Experiment," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 116(2), pages 655-679, May.
  13. Edward L. Glaeser & Bruce Sacerdote, 1996. "Why Is There More Crime in Cities?," NBER Working Papers 5430, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  14. Acemoglu, Daron, 1995. "Public Policy in a Model of Long-Term Unemployment," Economica, London School of Economics and Political Science, vol. 62(246), pages 161-78, May.
  15. Rasmusen, E., 1992. "Stigma and Self-Fulfilling Expectations of Criminality," Papers 92-019, Indiana - Center for Econometric Model Research.
  16. Moro, Andrea & Norman, Peter, 2003. "Affirmative action in a competitive economy," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 87(3-4), pages 567-594, March.
  17. Deutsch, Joseph & Hakim, Simon & Weinblatt, J., 1987. "A micro model of the criminal's location choice," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 22(2), pages 198-208, September.
  18. Kenneth Burdett & Ricardo Lagos & Randall Wright, 2002. "Crime, Inequality, and Unemployment, Second Version," PIER Working Paper Archive 03-029, Penn Institute for Economic Research, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania, revised 01 Sep 2003.
  19. Anne C. Case & Lawrence F. Katz, 1991. "The Company You Keep: The Effects of Family and Neighborhood on Disadvantaged Youths," NBER Working Papers 3705, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  20. Yves Zenou, 2003. "The Spatial Aspects of Crime," Journal of the European Economic Association, MIT Press, vol. 1(2-3), pages 459-467, 04/05.
  21. Edward L. Glaeser, 1998. "Are Cities Dying?," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 12(2), pages 139-160, Spring.
  22. Sah, R.K., 1990. "Social Osmosis And Patterns Of Crime: A Dynamic Economic Analysis," Papers 609, Yale - Economic Growth Center.
  23. Scott South & Kyle Crowder, 1997. "Residential mobility between cities and suburbs: race, suburbanization, and back-to-the-city moves," Demography, Springer, vol. 34(4), pages 525-538, November.
  24. Coate, S. & Loury, G.C., 1992. "Will Affirmative Action Policies Eliminate Negative Stereotypes?," Papers 3, Boston University - Department of Economics.
  25. Farmer, Amy & Terrell, Dek, 1996. "Discrimination, Bayesian Updating of Employer Beliefs and Human Capital Accumulation," Economic Inquiry, Western Economic Association International, vol. 34(2), pages 204-19, April.
  26. Freeman, Richard B., 1999. "The economics of crime," Handbook of Labor Economics, in: O. Ashenfelter & D. Card (ed.), Handbook of Labor Economics, edition 1, volume 3, chapter 52, pages 3529-3571 Elsevier.
  27. Jeff Grogger & Michael Willis, 2000. "The Emergence Of Crack Cocaine And The Rise In Urban Crime Rates," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 82(4), pages 519-529, November.
  28. Richard B. Freeman, 1994. "Crime and the Job Market," NBER Working Papers 4910, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  29. Freeman, Scott & Grogger, Jeffrey & Sonstelie, Jon, 1996. "The Spatial Concentration of Crime," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 40(2), pages 216-231, September.
  30. Piketty, Thomas, 1998. "Self-fulfilling beliefs about social status," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 70(1), pages 115-132, October.
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