Crime, Urban Flight, and the Consequences for Cities
This paper demonstrates that rising crime rates in cities are correlated with city depopulation. Instrumental variables estimates, using measures of the certainty and severity of a state?s criminal justice system as instruments for city crime rates, imply that the direction of causality runs from crime to urban flight. Using annual city-level panel data, our estimates suggest that each additional reported crime is associated with a one person decline in city residents. There is some evidence that increases in suburban crime tend to keep people in cities, although the magnitude of this effect is small. Analysis of individual-level data from the 1980 census confirms the city-level results and demonstrates that almost all of the crime-related population decline is attributable to increased outmigration rather than a decrease in new arrivals to a city. Those households that leave the city because of crime are much more likely to remain within the SMSA than those leaving the city for other reasons. The migration decisions of high-income households and those with children are much more responsive to changes in crime than other households. Crime-related mobility imposes costs on those who choose to remain in the city through declining property values and a shrinking tax base.
|Date of creation:||Sep 1996|
|Date of revision:|
|Publication status:||published as Review of Economics and Statistics, Vol. 81, no. 2 (May 1999): 159-169.|
|Contact details of provider:|| Postal: National Bureau of Economic Research, 1050 Massachusetts Avenue Cambridge, MA 02138, U.S.A.|
Web page: http://www.nber.org
More information through EDIRC
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:
- Roland Benabou, 1991.
"Workings of a City: Location, Education, and Production,"
NBER Technical Working Papers
0113, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Roland Benabou, 1993. "Workings of a City: Location, Education, and Production," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 108(3), pages 619-652.
- Katharine L. Bradbury & Helen F. Ladd, 1987. "City Taxes and Property Tax Bases," NBER Working Papers 2197, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Thaler, Richard, 1978. "A note on the value of crime control: Evidence from the property market," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 5(1), pages 137-145, January.
- repec:hoo:wpaper:e-95-6 is not listed on IDEAS
- Olivier Jean Blanchard & Lawrence F. Katz, 1992. "Regional Evolutions," Brookings Papers on Economic Activity, Economic Studies Program, The Brookings Institution, vol. 23(1), pages 1-76.
- Martin T. Katzman, 1980. "The Contribution of Crime to Urban Decline," Urban Studies, Urban Studies Journal Limited, vol. 17(3), pages 277-286, October.
- Bergstrom, Theodore C & Goodman, Robert P, 1973. "Private Demands for Public Goods," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 63(3), pages 280-96, June.
- Bradford, David F & Kelejian, Harry H, 1973. "An Econometric Model of the Flight to the Suburbs," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 81(3), pages 566-89, May-June.
- Case, A.C. & Katz, L.F., 1991.
"The Company You Keep: The Effects Of Family And Neighborhood On Disadvantaged Younths,"
Harvard Institute of Economic Research Working Papers
1555, Harvard - Institute of Economic Research.
- Anne C. Case & Lawrence F. Katz, 1991. "The Company You Keep: The Effects of Family and Neighborhood on Disadvantaged Youths," NBER Working Papers 3705, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Edward L. Glaeser & Bruce Sacerdote, 1996.
"Why is There More Crime in Cities?,"
Harvard Institute of Economic Research Working Papers
1746, Harvard - Institute of Economic Research.
- Helen F. Ladd & Julie B. Wilson, 1982. "Who supports tax limitations: Evidence from massachusetts' proposition 2½," Journal of Policy Analysis and Management, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 2(2), pages 256-279.
- Blanchard, Olivier J. & Summers, Lawrence H., 1987.
"Fiscal increasing returns, hysteresis, real wages and unemployment,"
European Economic Review,
Elsevier, vol. 31(3), pages 543-560, April.
- Olivier J. Blanchard & Lawrence H. Summers, 1986. "Fiscal Increasing Returns, Hysteresis, Real Wages and Unemployment," NBER Working Papers 2034, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Olivier J. Blanchard & Lawrence H. Summers, 1986. "Fiscal Increasing Returns, Hysteresis, Real Wages and Unemployment," Working papers 429, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Department of Economics.
- David M. Cutler & Edward L. Glaeser, 1995. "Are Ghettos Good or Bad?," NBER Working Papers 5163, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Ladd, Helen F. & Bradbury, Katharine L., 1988. "City Taxes and Property Tax Bases," National Tax Journal, National Tax Association, vol. 41(4), pages 503-23, December.
- Smith, Barton A., 1978. "Measuring the value of urban amenities," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 5(3), pages 370-387, July.
- Yinger, John & Ladd, Helen F., 1989. "The Determinants of State Assistance to Central Cities," National Tax Journal, National Tax Association, vol. 42(4), pages 413-28, December.
- Gonzalez, Rodolfo A & Mehay, Stephen L, 1987. "Economies of City Size in a Price Searcher Model of Local Government," Public Finance = Finances publiques, , vol. 42(2), pages 236-49.
- Steven D. Levitt, 1996. "The Effect of Prison Population Size on Crime Rates: Evidence from Prison Overcrowding Litigation," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 111(2), pages 319-351.
- Daryl A. Hellman & Joel L. Naroff, 1979. "The Impact of Crime on Urban Residential Property Values," Urban Studies, Urban Studies Journal Limited, vol. 16(1), pages 105-112, February.
When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:5737. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.
For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: ()
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.