Video Games and Crime

Contemporary Economic Policy, Volume 29, Issue 2, pages 261–273, April 2011

33 Pages Posted: 15 Oct 2007 Last revised: 21 May 2012

Michael R. Ward

University of Texas at Arlington - College of Business Administration - Department of Economics

Date Written: 2011

Abstract

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

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

Michael Robert Ward (Contact Author)

University of Texas at Arlington - College of Business Administration - Department of Economics ( email )

330 Business Building
Box 19479
Arlington, TX 76019
United States
817-272-3090 (Phone)
817-272-3145 (Fax)

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