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The "Flock" Phenomenon of the Sydney Lockout Laws: Dual Effects on Rental Prices




Geographically targeted crime control is a controversial attempt to alleviate crime by targeting “hot spots”, which risks the potential displacement of crime into bordering areas. The 2014 Sydney lockout laws have severely decreased the nightlife economy in the once bustling entertainment district of the CBD, and there have been reports of increased violence in displacement, or “flock”, areas. These laws have also displaced attractive nightlife entertainment hubs into neighbouring suburbs, which may contribute to the land value of the displacement areas. To address the paucity of empirical evidence for the displacement effect of geographical alcohol regulations, this paper investigates the effect of the Sydney lockout laws on rental prices in the displacement areas. We find differential “flock effects”: a negative effect on small dwellings and a positive effect on large dwellings. The former effect is relatively weak and short-lived, while the latter is persistent, indicating that the positive effect dominates in the long run. We speculate that the differential effect arises because of difference in the locations of small and large dwellings. Our results suggest that well-designed geographically targeted alcohol control can enhance social welfare not only in targeted areas but also in surrounding areas.

Suggested Citation

  • Georgia Perks & Shiko Maruyama, 2016. "The "Flock" Phenomenon of the Sydney Lockout Laws: Dual Effects on Rental Prices," Working Paper Series 38, Economics Discipline Group, UTS Business School, University of Technology, Sydney.
  • Handle: RePEc:uts:ecowps:38

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Anastasia Klimova & Adrian D. Lee, 2014. "Does a Nearby Murder Affect Housing Prices and Rents? The Case of Sydney," The Economic Record, The Economic Society of Australia, vol. 90, pages 16-40, June.
    2. Julie Berry Cullen & Steven D. Levitt, 1999. "Crime, Urban Flight, And The Consequences For Cities," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 81(2), pages 159-169, May.
    3. Ihlanfeldt, Keith & Mayock, Tom, 2010. "Panel data estimates of the effects of different types of crime on housing prices," Regional Science and Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 40(2-3), pages 161-172, May.
    4. Leigh Linden & Jonah E. Rockoff, 2008. "Estimates of the Impact of Crime Risk on Property Values from Megan's Laws," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 98(3), pages 1103-1127, June.
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    More about this item


    Alcohol law; Geographically targeted crime control; Displacement; Housing markets; Difference-in-difference; Sydney;

    JEL classification:

    • K32 - Law and Economics - - Other Substantive Areas of Law - - - Energy, Environmental, Health, and Safety Law
    • R2 - Urban, Rural, Regional, Real Estate, and Transportation Economics - - Household Analysis
    • R3 - Urban, Rural, Regional, Real Estate, and Transportation Economics - - Real Estate Markets, Spatial Production Analysis, and Firm Location

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