Weather Shocks, Agriculture, and Crime: Evidence from India

43 Pages Posted: 25 Apr 2014 Last revised: 10 Jul 2015

See all articles by David S. Blakeslee

David S. Blakeslee

New York University (NYU) - New York University Abu Dhabi

Ram Fishman

George Washington University

Date Written: July 9, 2015

Abstract

We use detailed crime, agriculture, and weather data from India during the years 1971-2000 to conduct a systematic analysis of the relationship between weather shocks and multiple categories of crime. We find that drought and heat exert a strong impact on virtually all types of crimes, that the impact on property crimes is larger than for violent crimes, and that this relationship has been relatively stable over three decades of economic development. We then use seasonal and geographical disaggregations of weather and agricultural cultivation to examine the prevailing hypothesis that agricultural income shocks drive the weather-crime relationship in developing countries. The patterns we find are consistent with this hypothesis in the case of rainfall shocks, but suggest other mechanisms may play a more important role in driving the heat-crime relationship, consistent with evidence from industrialized countries.

Keywords: Crime, Income Shocks, Weather Shocks, Climate, Agriculture

JEL Classification: O10, O13, Q54

Suggested Citation

Blakeslee, David S. and Fishman, Ram, Weather Shocks, Agriculture, and Crime: Evidence from India (July 9, 2015). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2428249 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2428249

David S. Blakeslee (Contact Author)

New York University (NYU) - New York University Abu Dhabi ( email )

PO Box 129188
Abu Dhabi
United Arab Emirates

Ram Fishman

George Washington University ( email )

2121 I Street NW
Washington, DC 20052
United States

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