Does Violent Crime Deter Physical Activity?

38 Pages Posted: 23 Aug 2013

See all articles by Katharina Janke

Katharina Janke

Lancaster University

Carol Propper

Imperial College London Business School; Centre for Economic Policy Research (CEPR); University of Bristol - Leverhulme Centre for Market and Public Organisation (CMPO)

Michael A. Shields

University of Melbourne - Department of Economics; IZA Institute of Labor Economics

Abstract

Crime has been argued to have important externalities. We investigate the relationship between violent crime and an important type of behaviour: individuals' participation in their local area through walking and physical activity. We use a sample of nearly 1 million people residing in over 320 small areas in England between 2005 and 2011. We show that concerns about personal safety co-move with police recorded violent crime. To identify the causal effect of recorded violent crime on walking and other physical activity we control for individual-level characteristics, non-time varying local authority effects, national time effects and local authority-specific trends. In addition, we exploit a natural experiment that caused a sudden increase in crime – the 2011 England riots – 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.

Keywords: violent crime, walking, physical activity, riots

JEL Classification: I12, I18, R23

Suggested Citation

Janke, Katharina and Propper, Carol and Shields, Michael A., Does Violent Crime Deter Physical Activity?. IZA Discussion Paper No. 7545. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2314840

Katharina Janke (Contact Author)

Lancaster University ( email )

Lancaster LA1 4YX
United Kingdom

Carol Propper

Imperial College London Business School ( email )

South Kensington Campus
Exhibition Road
London SW7 2AZ, SW7 2AZ
United Kingdom

Centre for Economic Policy Research (CEPR)

London
United Kingdom

University of Bristol - Leverhulme Centre for Market and Public Organisation (CMPO) ( email )

12 Priory Road
Bristol BS8 1TN
United Kingdom

HOME PAGE: http://www.bris.ac.uk/Depts/Economics/department/profiles/propper.htm

Michael A. Shields

University of Melbourne - Department of Economics ( email )

Victoria 3010, 3010
Australia
+61 3 8344 4656 (Phone)
+61 3 8344 6899 (Fax)

IZA Institute of Labor Economics

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

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