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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.
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  8. Larry Samuelson & George J. Mailath & Avner Shaked, 2000. "Endogenous Inequality in Integrated Labor Markets with Two-Sided Search," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 90(1), pages 46-72, March.
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  10. 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.
  11. Thierry Verdier & Yves Zenou, 2004. "Racial Beliefs, Location, And The Causes Of Crime," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 45(3), pages 731-760, 08.
  12. Fujita,Masahisa, 1989. "Urban Economic Theory," Cambridge Books, Cambridge University Press, number 9780521346627, june. pag.
  13. Edward L. Glaeser & Bruce Sacerdote & José A. Scheinkman, 1996. "Crime and Social Interactions," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 111(2), pages 507-548.
  14. Edward L. Glaeser & Bruce Sacerdote, 1996. "Why is There More Crime in Cities?," Harvard Institute of Economic Research Working Papers 1746, Harvard - Institute of Economic Research.
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  19. 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.
  20. Coate, S. & Loury, G.C., 1992. "Will Affirmative Action Policies Eliminate Negative Stereotypes?," Papers 3, Boston University - Department of Economics.
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  22. Sah, R.K., 1990. "Social Osmosis And Patterns Of Crime: A Dynamic Economic Analysis," Papers 609, Yale - Economic Growth Center.
  23. 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.
  24. 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.
  25. Piketty, Thomas, 1998. "Self-fulfilling beliefs about social status," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 70(1), pages 115-132, October.
  26. Jens Otto Ludwig & Greg Duncan & Paul Hirschfield, 2000. "Urban Poverty and Juvenile Crime: Evidence from a Randomized Housing-Mobility Experiment," JCPR Working Papers 158, Northwestern University/University of Chicago Joint Center for Poverty Research.
  27. 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.
  28. Andrea Moro & Peter Norman, . "Affirmative Action in a Competitive Economy," Penn CARESS Working Papers ca48ba70927f48a4e11034658, Penn Economics Department.
  29. David M. Cutler & Edward L. Glaeser, 1997. "Are Ghettos Good or Bad?," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 112(3), pages 827-872.
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  31. Freeman, Scott & Grogger, Jeffrey & Sonstelie, Jon, 1996. "The Spatial Concentration of Crime," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 40(2), pages 216-231, September.
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