Contemporary Economic Policy, Volume 29, Issue 2, pages 261–273, April 2011
33 Pages Posted: 15 Oct 2007 Last revised: 21 May 2012
Date Written: 2011
Psychological studies find that video game play is associated with markers for violent and antisocial attitudes. It is plausible that these markers indicate either whetted or sated preferences for antisocial behavior. I investigate whether a proxy for video gaming is associated with the prevalence of various crimes and find evidence that gaming is associated with significant declines in crime and death rates. These results are robust to various alternative specifications. Other youth related leisure activities - sports and movie viewing – generate smaller or no effects. These results cast doubt on the desirability of proposed restrictions on video game marketing.
Keywords: Video Games, Violence, Crime
JEL Classification: L86, D18, I18
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation
Ward, Michael R., Video Games and Crime (2011). Contemporary Economic Policy, Volume 29, Issue 2, pages 261–273, April 2011. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1021452 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.1021452