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Racial Beliefs, Location and the Causes of Crime

  • Verdier, Thierry

    ()

    (DELTA-ENS)

  • Zenou, Yves

    ()

    (The Research Institute of Industrial Economics)

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.

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Paper provided by Research Institute of Industrial Economics in its series Working Paper Series with number 602.

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Length: 39 pages
Date of creation: 21 Oct 2003
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:hhs:iuiwop:0602
Contact details of provider: Postal: Research Institute of Industrial Economics, Box 55665, SE-102 15 Stockholm, Sweden
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Fax: +46 8 665 4599
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