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The effect of Western TV on crime: Evidence from East Germany

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  • Tim Friehe

    () (University of Marburg)

  • Helge Mueller

    () (University of Marburg)

  • Florian Neumeier

    () (CESifo)

Abstract

This paper explores the causal infl uence of Western television programming on crime rates. We exploit a natural experiment involving access to West German TV within the German Democratic Republic (GDR) in which only geography and topography determined the allocation of individuals to treatment and control groups. Focusing on violent and property crime (as these domains were most likely to be affected by the marked differences in TV content), we find that in the post-reunification decade in which TV content was harmonized, regions that had access to Western TV broadcasts prior to the reunification experienced lower rates of violent crime, sex crime, and theft, but more fraud.

Suggested Citation

  • Tim Friehe & Helge Mueller & Florian Neumeier, 2017. "The effect of Western TV on crime: Evidence from East Germany," MAGKS Papers on Economics 201710, Philipps-Universität Marburg, Faculty of Business Administration and Economics, Department of Economics (Volkswirtschaftliche Abteilung).
  • Handle: RePEc:mar:magkse:201710
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    Cited by:

    1. Endrich, Marek, 2020. "A Window to the World: The long-term effect of Television on Hate Crime," ILE Working Paper Series 33, University of Hamburg, Institute of Law and Economics.
    2. Baumann, Florian & Buchwald, Achim & Friehe, Tim & Hottenrott, Hanna & Mechtel, Mario, 2019. "The effect of a ban on late-night off-premise alcohol sales on violent crime: Evidence from Germany," International Review of Law and Economics, Elsevier, vol. 60(C).
    3. Friehe, Tim & Müller, Helge & Neumeier, Florian, 2020. "Media’s role in the making of a democrat: Evidence from East Germany," Journal of Comparative Economics, Elsevier, vol. 48(4), pages 866-890.

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Crime; Television; Media; Natural experiment; Germany.;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • J22 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - Time Allocation and Labor Supply
    • K42 - Law and Economics - - Legal Procedure, the Legal System, and Illegal Behavior - - - Illegal Behavior and the Enforcement of Law
    • P37 - Economic Systems - - Socialist Institutions and Their Transitions - - - Legal
    • P39 - Economic Systems - - Socialist Institutions and Their Transitions - - - Other

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