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Racial Beliefs, Location and the Causes of Crime

Author

Listed:
  • Verdier, Thierry

    (DELTA-ENS)

  • Zenou, Yves

    (The Research Institute of Industrial Economics)

Abstract

This paper provides a unified explanation for why blacks commit more crime, are located in poorer neighborhoods and receive lower wages than whites. If everybody believes that blacks are more criminal than whites - even if there is no basis for this - then blacks are offered lower wages and, as a result, locate further away from jobs. Distant residence increases even more the black-white wage gap because of more tiredness and higher commuting costs. Blacks have thus a lower opportunity cost of committing crime and become indeed more criminal than whites. Therefore beliefs are self-fulfilling.

Suggested Citation

  • Verdier, Thierry & Zenou, Yves, 2003. "Racial Beliefs, Location and the Causes of Crime," Working Paper Series 602, Research Institute of Industrial Economics.
  • Handle: RePEc:hhs:iuiwop:0602
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Self-Fulfilling Prejudies; Urban Black Ghettos; Crime;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • J15 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Economics of Minorities, Races, Indigenous Peoples, and Immigrants; Non-labor Discrimination
    • K42 - Law and Economics - - Legal Procedure, the Legal System, and Illegal Behavior - - - Illegal Behavior and the Enforcement of Law
    • R14 - Urban, Rural, Regional, Real Estate, and Transportation Economics - - General Regional Economics - - - Land Use Patterns

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