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Does Violent Crime Deter Physical Activity?

Author

Listed:
  • Janke, Katharina

    () (Lancaster University)

  • Propper, Carol

    () (Imperial College London)

  • Shields, Michael A.

    () (Monash University)

Abstract

Crime has been argued to have important externalities. We investigate the relationship between violent crime and an important type of behaviour: individuals' participation in their local area through walking and physical activity. We use a sample of nearly 1 million people residing in over 320 small areas in England between 2005 and 2011. We show that concerns about personal safety co-move with police recorded violent crime. To identify the causal effect of recorded violent crime on walking and other physical activity we control for individual-level characteristics, non-time varying local authority effects, national time effects and local authority-specific trends. In addition, we exploit a natural experiment that caused a sudden increase in crime – the 2011 England riots – to identify the causal impact of a large exogenous crime shock on physical activity in a triple difference framework. Our results show a substantive deterrent effect of local area violent crime on walking, pointing to important effects of violent crime on non-victims. The adverse effect of an increase in local area violent crime from the 25th to the 75th percentile on walking is equivalent in size to a 6°C fall in average minimum temperature.

Suggested Citation

  • Janke, Katharina & Propper, Carol & Shields, Michael A., 2013. "Does Violent Crime Deter Physical Activity?," IZA Discussion Papers 7545, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  • Handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp7545
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. Cabane Charlotte & Lechner Michael, 2015. "Physical Activity of Adults: A Survey of Correlates, Determinants, and Effects," Journal of Economics and Statistics (Jahrbuecher fuer Nationaloekonomie und Statistik), De Gruyter, vol. 235(4-5), pages 376-402, August.
    2. Christian Dustmann & Francesco Fasani, 2016. "The Effect of Local Area Crime on Mental Health," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 126(593), pages 978-1017, June.
    3. Johnston, David W. & Shields, Michael A. & Suziedelyte, Agne, 2015. "Victimisation, Wellbeing and Compensation: Using Panel Data to Estimate the Costs of Violent Crime," IZA Discussion Papers 9311, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).

    More about this item

    Keywords

    violent crime; walking; physical activity; riots;

    JEL classification:

    • I12 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Health - - - Health Behavior
    • I18 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Health - - - Government Policy; Regulation; Public Health
    • R23 - Urban, Rural, Regional, Real Estate, and Transportation Economics - - Household Analysis - - - Regional Migration; Regional Labor Markets; Population

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