Crime Deterrence: Evidence from the London 2011 Riots

27 Pages Posted: 23 May 2014  

Brian Bell

University of Oxford - Department of Economics; London School of Economics & Political Science (LSE) - Centre for Economic Performance (CEP)

Laura Jaitman

Inter-American Development Bank (IDB)

Stephen J. Machin

University College London - Department of Economics; IZA Institute of Labor Economics

Date Written: May 2014

Abstract

Significant riots occurred in London in August 2011. The riots took place in highly localised geographical areas, with crime going up hugely in the affected sub‐wards. The criminal justice response was to make sentencing for rioters much more severe. We show a significant drop in riot crimes across London in the six months after the riots, consistent with a deterrence effect from the tougher sentencing. More evidence of general deterrence comes from the observation that crime also fell in the post‐riot aftermath in areas where rioting did not take place.

Suggested Citation

Bell, Brian and Jaitman, Laura and Machin, Stephen J., Crime Deterrence: Evidence from the London 2011 Riots (May 2014). The Economic Journal, Vol. 124, Issue 576, pp. 480-506, 2014. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2441390 or http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/ecoj.12137

Brian Bell (Contact Author)

University of Oxford - Department of Economics ( email )

Manor Road Building
Manor Road
Oxford, OX1 3BJ
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London School of Economics & Political Science (LSE) - Centre for Economic Performance (CEP) ( email )

Houghton Street
London WC2A 2AE
United Kingdom

Laura Jaitman

Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) ( email )

1300 New York Avenue NW
Washington, DC 20577
United States

Stephen J. Machin

University College London - Department of Economics ( email )

Gower Street
London WC1E 6BT, WC1E 6BT
United Kingdom
+0171 955 7799 (Phone)
+0171 955 7595 (Fax)

IZA Institute of Labor Economics ( email )

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Bonn, D-53072
Germany

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