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The Effect of Local Area Crime on Mental Health

Author

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  • Dustmann, Christian

    (University College London)

  • Fasani, Francesco

    (University of Milan)

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 of Labor Economics (IZA).
  • Handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp7711
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    More about this item

    Keywords

    neighbourhood effects; mental wellbeing; fear of crime;
    All these keywords.

    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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