IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/p/hbs/wpaper/18-039.html
   My bibliography  Save this paper

Crime and Violence: Desensitization in Victims to Watching Criminal Events

Author

Listed:
  • Rafael Di Tella

    (Harvard Business School, Business, Government and the International Economy Unit)

  • Lucía Freira

    (Universidad Torcuato Di Tella)

  • Ramiro H. Gálvez

    (Universidad Torcuato Di Tella)

  • Ernesto Schargrodsky

    (Universidad Torcuato Di Tella)

  • Diego Shalom

    (Universidad Torcuato Di Tella)

  • Mariano Sigman

    (Universidad Torcuato Di Tella)

Abstract

We study desensitization to crime in a lab experiment by showing footage of criminal acts to a group of subjects, some of whom have been previously victimized. We measure biological markers of stress and behavioral indices of cognitive control before and after treated participants watch a series of real, crime-related videos (while the control group watches non-crime-related videos). Not previously victimized participants exposed to the treatment video show significant changes in cortisol level, heart rate, and measures of cognitive control. Instead, previously victimized individuals who are exposed to the treatment video show biological markers and cognitive performance comparable to those measured in individuals exposed to the control video. These results suggest a phenomenon of desensitization or habituation of victims to crime exposure.

Suggested Citation

  • Rafael Di Tella & Lucía Freira & Ramiro H. Gálvez & Ernesto Schargrodsky & Diego Shalom & Mariano Sigman, 2017. "Crime and Violence: Desensitization in Victims to Watching Criminal Events," Harvard Business School Working Papers 18-039, Harvard Business School.
  • Handle: RePEc:hbs:wpaper:18-039
    as

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL: http://www.hbs.edu/faculty/pages/download.aspx?name=18-039.pdf
    Download Restriction: no
    ---><---

    Other versions of this item:

    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. 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.
    2. Amodio, Francesco, 2019. "Crime protection investment spillovers: Theory and evidence from the City of Buenos Aires," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 159(C), pages 626-649.
    3. Rafael Di Tella & Sebastian Galiani & Ernesto Schargrodsky, 2010. "Crime Distribution and Victim Behavior during a Crime Wave," NBER Chapters, in: The Economics of Crime: Lessons for and from Latin America, pages 175-204, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    4. Rafael di Tella & Ernesto Schargrodsky, 2009. "Happiness, Ideology and Crime in Argentine Cities," Research Department Publications 4645, Inter-American Development Bank, Research Department.
    5. Di Tella, Rafael & Edwards, Sebastian & Schargrodsky, Ernesto (ed.), 2010. "The Economics of Crime," National Bureau of Economic Research Books, University of Chicago Press, number 9780226153742, December.
    6. Soares, Rodrigo R, 2004. "Crime Reporting as a Measure of Institutional Development," Economic Development and Cultural Change, University of Chicago Press, vol. 52(4), pages 851-871, July.
    7. Rafael di Tella & Ernesto Schargrodsky, 2009. "Happiness, Ideology and Crime in Argentine Cities," Research Department Publications 4645, Inter-American Development Bank, Research Department.
    8. Brendan O'Flaherty & Rajiv Sethi, 2010. "Peaceable Kingdoms and War Zones: Preemption, Ballistics and Murder in Newark," NBER Chapters, in: The Economics of Crime: Lessons for and from Latin America, pages 305-353, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    Citations

    Blog mentions

    As found by EconAcademics.org, the blog aggregator for Economics research:
    1. Crime and Violence: Desensitization in Victims to Watching Criminal Events
      by maximorossi in NEP-LTV blog on 2018-03-20 13:34:07

    Most related items

    These are the items that most often cite the same works as this one and are cited by the same works as this one.
    1. Nicholas Ajzenman, Sebastian Galiani, and Enrique Seira, 2014. "On the Distributed Costs of Drug-Related Homicides - Working Paper 364," Working Papers 364, Center for Global Development.
    2. Nicolas Ajzenman & Sebastian Galiani & Enrique Seira, 2015. "On the Distributive Costs of Drug-Related Homicides," Journal of Law and Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 58(4).
    3. Galiani, Sebastian & Lopez Cruz, Ivan & Torrens, Gustavo, 2018. "Stirring up a hornets’ nest: Geographic distribution of crime," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 152(C), pages 17-35.
    4. Salm, M. & Vollaard, B.A., 2014. "Individual Perceptions of Local Crime Risk," Other publications TiSEM 7d0519da-c827-4f5d-9b0a-5, Tilburg University, School of Economics and Management.
    5. O’Flaherty, Brendan & Sethi, Rajiv, 2015. "Urban Crime," Handbook of Regional and Urban Economics, in: Gilles Duranton & J. V. Henderson & William C. Strange (ed.), Handbook of Regional and Urban Economics, edition 1, volume 5, chapter 0, pages 1519-1621, Elsevier.
    6. Michael Clemens, Çaglar Özden, and Hillel Rapoport, 2014. "Migration and Development Research Is Moving Far beyond Remittances - Working Paper 365," Working Papers 365, Center for Global Development.
    7. Mejía, Daniel & Restrepo, Pascual, 2016. "Crime and conspicuous consumption," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 135(C), pages 1-14.
    8. Laura Jaitman, 2019. "Frontiers in the economics of crime: lessons for Latin America and the Caribbean," Latin American Economic Review, Springer;Centro de Investigaciòn y Docencia Económica (CIDE), vol. 28(1), pages 1-36, December.
    9. Sebastian Galiani & Ivan Lopez Cruz & Gustavo Torrens, 2018. "Stirring Up a Hornets’ Nest: Geographic Distribution of Crime," Documentos de Trabajo LACEA 016343, The Latin American and Caribbean Economic Association - LACEA.
    10. Francis Petterini & Akauã Flores, 2021. "Copula econometrics to simulate effects of private policing on crime," Economics Bulletin, AccessEcon, vol. 41(3), pages 1241-1254.
    11. Popova, Olga & Otrachshenko, Vladimir & Tavares, José, 2019. "Extreme Temperature and Extreme Violence across Age and Gender: Evidence from Russia," GLO Discussion Paper Series 382, Global Labor Organization (GLO).
    12. Baumann, Florian & Friehe, Tim, 2013. "Private protection against crime when property value is private information," International Review of Law and Economics, Elsevier, vol. 35(C), pages 73-79.
    13. Daniel Mejía & María José Uribe, 2011. "Is Violence Against Union Members in Colombia Systematic and Targeted?," Economía Journal, The Latin American and Caribbean Economic Association - LACEA, vol. 0(Fall 2011), pages 119-154, August.
    14. Mirko Draca & Stephen Machin & Robert Witt, 2011. "Panic on the Streets of London: Police, Crime, and the July 2005 Terror Attacks," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 101(5), pages 2157-2181, August.
    15. Vinicius V. Zanchi & Philipp Ehrl & Daniel T. G. N. Maciel, 2021. "Direct and Indirect Effects of Individualism and Institutions on Homicides," Social Indicators Research: An International and Interdisciplinary Journal for Quality-of-Life Measurement, Springer, vol. 153(3), pages 1167-1195, February.
    16. Ross Hickey & Steeve Mongrain & Joanne Roberts & Tanguy van Ypersele, 2021. "Private protection and public policing," Journal of Public Economic Theory, Association for Public Economic Theory, vol. 23(1), pages 5-28, February.
    17. Arlen Guarín & Carlos Medina & Jorge Andrés Tamayo, 2013. "The Effects of Punishment of Crime in Colombia on Deterrence, Incapacitation, and Human Capital Formation," BORRADORES DE ECONOMIA 010972, BANCO DE LA REPÚBLICA.
    18. Vladimir Otrachshenko & Olga Popova & José Tavares, 2021. "Extreme Temperature And Extreme Violence: Evidence From Russia," Economic Inquiry, Western Economic Association International, vol. 59(1), pages 243-262, January.
    19. Blanco, Luisa R., 2013. "The impact of crime on trust in institutions in Mexico," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 32(C), pages 38-55.
    20. Amodio, Francesco, 2019. "Crime protection investment spillovers: Theory and evidence from the City of Buenos Aires," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 159(C), pages 626-649.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    crime; biological markers; experiment; victimization; desensitization;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • K42 - Law and Economics - - Legal Procedure, the Legal System, and Illegal Behavior - - - Illegal Behavior and the Enforcement of Law

    NEP fields

    This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:

    Statistics

    Access and download statistics

    Corrections

    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:hbs:wpaper:18-039. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: . General contact details of provider: https://edirc.repec.org/data/harbsus.html .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    If CitEc recognized a bibliographic reference but did not link an item in RePEc to it, you can help with this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: HBS (email available below). General contact details of provider: https://edirc.repec.org/data/harbsus.html .

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.