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The Effect of Local Area Crime on Mental Health

Author

Listed:
  • Dustmann, Christian

    () (University College London)

  • Fasani, Francesco

    () (Queen Mary, University of London)

Abstract

This paper analyses the effect of local crime rates on the mental well-being of residents. Our identification strategy addresses the problem of sorting, and endogenous moving behaviour. We find that crime causes considerable mental distress of residents, and that these effects are mainly driven by property crime. However, individuals react also to violent crime, in particular in areas individuals may be exposed to when following their daily routines, such as travel to work. Local crime creates more distress for females, and is mainly related to depression and anxiety. The impact on mental well-being is large: We find that the increase in mental distress following a one standard deviation increase in local crime is about 2-4 times as large as that caused by a one standard deviation decrease in local employment, and about one seventh of the effect experienced by in the direct aftermath of the London Bombings of Jul 7th, 2005.

Suggested Citation

  • Dustmann, Christian & Fasani, Francesco, 2013. "The Effect of Local Area Crime on Mental Health," IZA Discussion Papers 7711, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  • Handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp7711
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Clark, Andrew E & Oswald, Andrew J, 1994. "Unhappiness and Unemployment," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 104(424), pages 648-659, May.
    2. Timothy Besley & Hannes Mueller, 2012. "Estimating the Peace Dividend: The Impact of Violence on House Prices in Northern Ireland," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 102(2), pages 810-833, April.
    3. Francesca Cornaglia & Naomi E. Feldman & Andrew Leigh, 2014. "Crime and Mental Well-Being," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 49(1), pages 110-140.
    4. Giles Atkinson & Andrew Healey & Susana Mourato, 2005. "Valuing the costs of violent crime: a stated preference approach," Oxford Economic Papers, Oxford University Press, vol. 57(4), pages 559-585, October.
    5. Richard T. Carson, 2012. "Contingent Valuation: A Practical Alternative When Prices Aren't Available," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 26(4), pages 27-42, Fall.
    6. Lawrence F. Katz & Jeffrey R. Kling & Jeffrey B. Liebman, 2001. "Moving to Opportunity in Boston: Early Results of a Randomized Mobility Experiment," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 116(2), pages 607-654.
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    8. Janke, K. & Propper, C. & Shields, M.A., 2013. "Does Violent Crime Deter Physical Activity?," Health, Econometrics and Data Group (HEDG) Working Papers 13/26, HEDG, c/o Department of Economics, University of York.
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    Cited by:

    1. Melek Cigdem-Bayram, 2018. "Responding to high crime rates: what is the mix of prevention, insurance and mitigation individuals choose and its results?," Technical papers 201803, Infrastructure Victoria.
    2. Foureaux Koppensteiner, Martin & Manacorda, Marco, 2016. "Violence and birth outcomes: Evidence from homicides in Brazil," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 119(C), pages 16-33.
    3. Daniel Avdic & Christian Bünnings, 2015. "Does the Burglar Also Disturb the Neighbor? Crime Spillovers on Individual Well-being," Ruhr Economic Papers 0540, Rheinisch-Westfälisches Institut für Wirtschaftsforschung, Ruhr-Universität Bochum, Universität Dortmund, Universität Duisburg-Essen.
    4. Janke, K. & Propper, C. & Shields, M.A., 2013. "Does Violent Crime Deter Physical Activity?," Health, Econometrics and Data Group (HEDG) Working Papers 13/26, HEDG, c/o Department of Economics, University of York.
    5. repec:zbw:rwirep:0540 is not listed on IDEAS
    6. Alan Piper, 2014. "Zukunftsangst! Fear of (and Hope for) the Future and Its Impact on Life Satisfaction," SOEPpapers on Multidisciplinary Panel Data Research 706, DIW Berlin, The German Socio-Economic Panel (SOEP).
    7. Avdic, Daniel & Bünnings, Christian, 2015. "Does the Burglar Also Disturb the Neighbor? Crime Spillovers on Individual Well-being," Ruhr Economic Papers 540, RWI - Leibniz-Institut für Wirtschaftsforschung, Ruhr-University Bochum, TU Dortmund University, University of Duisburg-Essen.
    8. Jonathan de Quidt & Johannes Haushofer, 2017. "Depression through the Lens of Economics: A Research Agenda," NBER Chapters,in: The Economics of Poverty Traps National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    9. Stéphane Mahuteau & Rong Zhu, 2016. "Crime Victimisation and Subjective Well‐Being: Panel Evidence From Australia," Health Economics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 25(11), pages 1448-1463, November.
    10. repec:zbw:rwirep:0541 is not listed on IDEAS
    11. Nicola Mastrorocco & Luigi Minale, 2016. "Information and Crime Perceptions: Evidence from a Natural Experiment," CReAM Discussion Paper Series 1601, Centre for Research and Analysis of Migration (CReAM), Department of Economics, University College London.
    12. Richard Dorsett & Cinzia Rienzo & Martin Weale, 2015. "Intergenerational and Inter-Ethnic Well-Being: An Analysis for the UK," National Institute of Economic and Social Research (NIESR) Discussion Papers 451, National Institute of Economic and Social Research.
    13. Jonathan de Quidt & Johannes Haushofer, 2016. "Depression for Economists," NBER Working Papers 22973, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    14. 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).
    15. repec:kap:poprpr:v:37:y:2018:i:2:d:10.1007_s11113-018-9460-x is not listed on IDEAS
    16. Melek Cigdem-Bayram, 2018. "How do crime rates affect property prices?," Technical papers 201802, Infrastructure Victoria.
    17. Gustavo J. Bobonis & Mark Stabile & Leonardo Tovar, 2016. "Bombs and Babies: US Navy Bombing Activity and Infant Health in Vieques, Puerto Rico," NBER Working Papers 22909, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    18. repec:eee:socmed:v:206:y:2018:i:c:p:14-21 is not listed on IDEAS
    19. Nicola Suppa, 2015. "Towards a Multidimensional Poverty Index for Germany," Ruhr Economic Papers 0541, Rheinisch-Westfälisches Institut für Wirtschaftsforschung, Ruhr-Universität Bochum, Universität Dortmund, Universität Duisburg-Essen.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    neighbourhood effects; mental wellbeing; fear of crime;

    JEL classification:

    • I18 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Health - - - Government Policy; Regulation; Public Health
    • K42 - Law and Economics - - Legal Procedure, the Legal System, and Illegal Behavior - - - Illegal Behavior and the Enforcement of Law
    • R23 - Urban, Rural, Regional, Real Estate, and Transportation Economics - - Household Analysis - - - Regional Migration; Regional Labor Markets; Population

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