Broadband Internet: An Information Superhighway to Sex Crime?

50 Pages Posted: 8 Jul 2011  

Manudeep Bhuller

University of Oslo - Department of Economics; Statistics Norway

Tarjei Havnes

University of Oslo - Department of Economics

Edwin Leuven

University of Amsterdam - Faculty of Economics and Business (FEB); IZA Institute of Labor Economics

Magne Mogstad

Statistics Norway; IZA Institute of Labor Economics

Multiple version iconThere are 4 versions of this paper

Date Written: July 8, 2011

Abstract

Does internet use trigger sex crime? We use unique Norwegian data on crime and internet adoption to shed light on this question. A public program with limited funding rolled out broadband access points in 2000-2008, and provides plausibly exogenous variation in internet use. Our instrumental variables and fixed effect estimates show that internet use is associated with a substantial increase in reported incidences of rape and other sex crimes. We present a theoretical framework that highlights three mechanisms for how internet use may affect reported sex crime, namely a reporting effect, a matching effect on potential offenders and victims, and a direct effect on sex crime propensity. Our results suggest that the direct effect is non-negligible and positive, possibly as a result of increased consumption of pornography.

Keywords: Broadband internet, sex crime, rape, pornography

JEL Classification: K42, H40, L96, C26

Suggested Citation

Bhuller, Manudeep and Havnes, Tarjei and Leuven, Edwin and Mogstad, Magne, Broadband Internet: An Information Superhighway to Sex Crime? (July 8, 2011). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1881507 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.1881507

Manudeep Bhuller

University of Oslo - Department of Economics ( email )

P.O. Box 1095 Blindern
N-0317 Oslo
Norway

HOME PAGE: http://sites.google.com/site/manudeepbhuller

Statistics Norway ( email )

N-0033 Oslo
Norway

HOME PAGE: http://sites.google.com/site/manudeepbhuller

Tarjei Havnes (Contact Author)

University of Oslo - Department of Economics ( email )

P.O. Box 1095 Blindern
N-0317 Oslo
Norway

Edwin Leuven

University of Amsterdam - Faculty of Economics and Business (FEB) ( email )

Roetersstraat 11
Amsterdam, 1018 WB
Netherlands
+31 20 525 5241 (Phone)
+31 20 525 4310 (Fax)

IZA Institute of Labor Economics

Schaumburg-Lippe-Str. 7 / 9
Bonn, D-53072
Germany

Magne Mogstad

Statistics Norway ( email )

N-0033 Oslo
Norway

IZA Institute of Labor Economics

P.O. Box 7240
Bonn, D-53072
Germany

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