Does Violent Crime Deter Physical Activity?
Crime has potentially important externalities. We investigate the relationship between recorded violent crime at the local area level and individualsâ€™ participation in their local area through walking and physical activity. We use a sample of nearly 1 million people residing in over 320 local areas across England over the period 2005 to 2011. We show that concerns about personal safety co-move with police recorded violent crime. Our analysis controls for individual-level characteristics, non-time varying local authority effects, national time effects and local authority-specific trends in order to identify the causal effect of police recorded violent crime on walking and other physical activity. In addition, we exploit a natural experiment that caused a sudden increase in crime â€“ the 2011 England riots â€“ to identify the causal impact of a large exogenous crime shock on physical activity in a triple difference framework. Our results show a substantive deterrent effect of local area violent crime on walking, pointing to important effects of violent crime on non-victims. The adverse effect of an increase in local area violent crime from the 25th to the 75th percentile on walking is equivalent in size to a 6 C fall in average minimum temperature.
|Date of creation:||Jul 2013|
|Date of revision:|
|Contact details of provider:|| Postal: HEDG/HERC, Department of Economics and Related Studies, University of York, York, YO10 5DD, United Kingdom|
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