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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. Edward L. Glaeser & Bruce Sacerdote & Jose A. Scheinkman, 1995. "Crime and Social Interactions," NBER Working Papers 5026, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  2. Coate, S. & Loury, G.C., 1992. "Will Affirmative Action Policies Eliminate Negative Stereotypes?," Papers 3, Boston University - Department of Economics.
  3. Verdier, T. & Zenou, Y., 2000. "Racial Beliefs , Location and the Causes of Crime," DELTA Working Papers 2000-26, DELTA (Ecole normale supérieure).
  4. Case, A.C. & Katz, L.F., 1991. "The Company You Keep: The Effects Of Family And Neighborhood On Disadvantaged Younths," Harvard Institute of Economic Research Working Papers 1555, Harvard - Institute of Economic Research.
  5. Gary S. Becker, 1974. "Crime and Punishment: An Economic Approach," NBER Chapters, in: Essays in the Economics of Crime and Punishment, pages 1-54 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  6. 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.
  7. Fujita,Masahisa, 1991. "Urban Economic Theory," Cambridge Books, Cambridge University Press, number 9780521396455, December.
  8. Freeman, Scott & Grogger, Jeffrey & Sonstelie, Jon, 1996. "The Spatial Concentration of Crime," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 40(2), pages 216-231, September.
  9. 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.
  10. Kenneth Burdett & Ricardo Lagos & Randall Wright, 2003. "Crime, Inequality, and Unemployment," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 93(5), pages 1764-1777, December.
  11. Jeff Grogger, 1997. "Market Wages and Youth Crime," NBER Working Papers 5983, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  12. 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.
  13. George J. Mailath & Larry Samuelson & Avner Shaked, . "Endogenous Inequality in Integrated Labor Markets with Two-sided Search," Penn CARESS Working Papers 90ff654ed11b714e3f7530c57, Penn Economics Department.
  14. 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.
  15. Eric Rasmusen, 1995. "``Stigma and Self-Fulfilling Expectations of Criminality''," Law and Economics 9506001, EconWPA.
  16. 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.
  17. 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.
  18. 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.
  19. Piketty, Thomas, 1998. "Self-fulfilling beliefs about social status," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 70(1), pages 115-132, October.
  20. Scott South & Kyle Crowder, 1997. "Residential mobility between cities and suburbs: race, suburbanization, and back-to-the-city moves," Demography, Springer;Population Association of America (PAA), vol. 34(4), pages 525-538, November.
  21. Richard B. Freeman, 1991. "Crime and the Employment of Disadvantaged Youths," NBER Working Papers 3875, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  22. Moro,A. & Norman,P., 2001. "A general equilibrium model of statistical discrimination," Working papers 4, Wisconsin Madison - Social Systems.
  23. Richard B. Freeman, 1994. "Crime and the Job Market," NBER Working Papers 4910, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  24. 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.
  25. Andrea Moro & Peter Norman, . "Affirmative Action in a Competitive Economy," Penn CARESS Working Papers ca48ba70927f48a4e11034658, Penn Economics Department.
  26. 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.
  27. Sah, Raaj K, 1991. "Social Osmosis and Patterns of Crime," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 99(6), pages 1272-95, December.
  28. 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.
  29. Edward L. Glaeser, 1998. "Are Cities Dying?," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 12(2), pages 139-160, Spring.
  30. 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.
  31. 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.
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