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Criminality spread: a "Boomerang effect" of public transport improvements?

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Abstract

The relationship between accessibility or the degree of improvement of urban transport and criminality has been underestimated and close to forgotten. This paper aims to reveal the importance of public transport policies in the evolution of crime configuration in a city. The hypothesis that the probability of transport improvements in a zone depends on some of its socio-economic characteristics is adopted. The use of the propensity score matching technique reveals that the presence of improvements of public transport in a zone of the city has a direct and significant impact on the increase of some types of crime. Likewise, spatial econometrics results expose that crime tends to be contagious in neighbouring zones. The presence of the Transmilenio system in Bogota may share out criminality to other zones of the city. Negative externalities like the better mobility of offenders and, then, their possible choice to expand their criminal activities to new zones, can spoil the positive effects of enhancement of public transport. Far from suggesting no developing public transport or isolating some “dangerous” neighbourhoods or inhabitants, this article shows that improvement of public transport may not only generate positive externalities; policy makers should take into consideration the mutation and shift of criminal behaviours in order to identify possible solutions such as the construction of more establishments providing health, welfare and sporting activities, as is evoked in the results. In this way, the “boomerang effect” of the improvement to transport will be reduced

Suggested Citation

  • Carlos Augusto Olarte Bacares, 2014. "Criminality spread: a "Boomerang effect" of public transport improvements?," Documents de travail du Centre d'Economie de la Sorbonne 14013, Université Panthéon-Sorbonne (Paris 1), Centre d'Economie de la Sorbonne.
  • Handle: RePEc:mse:cesdoc:14013
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    Cited by:

    1. Gaigné, Carl & Zenou, Yves, 2015. "Agglomeration, city size and crime," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 80(C), pages 62-82.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Urban public transports improvements; propensity score matching; crime contagion; spatial dependence;

    JEL classification:

    • C31 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Multiple or Simultaneous Equation Models; Multiple Variables - - - Cross-Sectional Models; Spatial Models; Treatment Effect Models; Quantile Regressions; Social Interaction Models
    • K42 - Law and Economics - - Legal Procedure, the Legal System, and Illegal Behavior - - - Illegal Behavior and the Enforcement of Law
    • R12 - Urban, Rural, Regional, Real Estate, and Transportation Economics - - General Regional Economics - - - Size and Spatial Distributions of Regional Economic Activity; Interregional Trade (economic geography)
    • R15 - Urban, Rural, Regional, Real Estate, and Transportation Economics - - General Regional Economics - - - Econometric and Input-Output Models; Other Methods

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