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The Effect of Local Area Crime on Mental Health

  • Dustmann, Christian

    ()

    (University College London)

  • Fasani, Francesco

    ()

    (Queen Mary, University of London)

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.

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File URL: http://ftp.iza.org/dp7711.pdf
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Paper provided by Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA) in its series IZA Discussion Papers with number 7711.

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Length: 66 pages
Date of creation: Nov 2013
Date of revision:
Publication status: forthcoming in: Economic Journal
Handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp7711
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  1. Timothy Besley & Hannes Mueller, 2009. "Estimating the peace dividend: the impact of violence on house prices in Northern Ireland," LSE Research Online Documents on Economics 25427, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library.
  2. Lawrence F. Katz & Jeffrey R. Kling & Jeffrey B. Liebman, 2000. "Moving to Opportunity in Boston: Early Results of a Randomized Mobility Experiment," NBER Working Papers 7973, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. Cornaglia, Francesca & Feldman, Naomi E. & Leigh, Andrew, 2014. "Crime and Mental Wellbeing," IZA Discussion Papers 8014, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  6. Gary S. Becker & Yona Rubinstein, 2011. "Fear and the Response to Terrorism: An Economic Analysis," CEP Discussion Papers dp1079, Centre for Economic Performance, LSE.
  7. Clark, Andrew E & Oswald, Andrew J, 1994. "Unhappiness and Unemployment," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 104(424), pages 648-59, May.
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