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Does the Burglar Also Disturb the Neighbor? Crime Spillovers on Individual Well-being

Listed author(s):
  • Bünnings, Christian
  • Avdic, Daniel

Indirect psychological effects induced by crime are likely to contribute significantly to the total costs of crime beyond the financial costs of direct victimization. Using detailed crime statistics for the whole of Germany and linking them to individual-level mental health information from the German Socio-Economic Panel, we analyze whether local crime rates affect the mental health of residents. We estimate that a one standard deviation increase in local violent crime rates significantly decreases individual mental well-being among residents by, on average, one percent. Smaller effects are found for property and total crime rates. Results are insensitive to migration and not isolated to urban areas, but are rather driven by less densely populated regions. In contrast to previous literature on vulnerability to crime, we find that men, more educated and singles react more to variation in violent crime rates in their neighborhoods. One potential explanation could be that those who are more fearful of crime have developed better coping strategies and, hence, react less to changes in crime.

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File URL: https://www.econstor.eu/bitstream/10419/145512/1/VfS_2016_pid_6313.pdf
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Paper provided by Verein für Socialpolitik / German Economic Association in its series Annual Conference 2016 (Augsburg): Demographic Change with number 145512.

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Date of creation: 2016
Handle: RePEc:zbw:vfsc16:145512
Contact details of provider: Web page: http://www.socialpolitik.org/
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  1. Raphael, Steven & Winter-Ember, Rudolf, 2001. "Identifying the Effect of Unemployment on Crime," Journal of Law and Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 44(1), pages 259-283, April.
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  3. Marcus, Jan, 2013. "The Effect of Unemployment on the Mental Health of Spouses – Evidence from plant closures in Germany," EconStor Open Access Articles, ZBW - German National Library of Economics, pages 546-558.
  4. Matthias Nübling & Hanfried H. Andersen & Axel Mühlbacher & Jürgen Schupp & Gert G. Wagner, 2007. "Computation of Standard Values for Physical and Mental Health Scale Scores Using the SOEP Version of SF12v2," Schmollers Jahrbuch : Journal of Applied Social Science Studies / Zeitschrift für Wirtschafts- und Sozialwissenschaften, Duncker & Humblot, Berlin, vol. 127(1), pages 171-182.
  5. Clark, Andrew E & Oswald, Andrew J, 1994. "Unhappiness and Unemployment," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 104(424), pages 648-659, May.
  6. Schmitz, Hendrik, 2011. "Why are the unemployed in worse health? The causal effect of unemployment on health," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 18(1), pages 71-78, January.
  7. Grogger, Jeff, 1998. "Market Wages and Youth Crime," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 16(4), pages 756-791, October.
  8. Francesca Cornaglia & Naomi E. Feldman & Andrew Leigh, 2014. "Crime and Mental Well-Being," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 49(1), pages 110-140.
  9. Christian Krekel & Marie L. Poprawe, 2014. "The effect of local crime on well-being," KOF Working papers 14-358, KOF Swiss Economic Institute, ETH Zurich.
  10. Christian Krekel & Marie L. Poprawe, 2014. "The Effect of Local Crime on Well-Being: Evidence for Germany," SOEPpapers on Multidisciplinary Panel Data Research 678, DIW Berlin, The German Socio-Economic Panel (SOEP).
  11. Simon Moore & Jonathan Shepherd, 2006. "The cost of fear: shadow pricing the intangible costs of crime," Applied Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 38(3), pages 293-300.
  12. Eric D. Gould & Bruce A. Weinberg & David B. Mustard, 2002. "Crime Rates And Local Labor Market Opportunities In The United States: 1979-1997," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 84(1), pages 45-61, February.
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