Is Crime Bad for Business? Crime and Commercial Property Values in New York City
29 Pages Posted: 6 Jun 2016
Date Written: June 2016
To test how crime affects economic activity, we use point‐specific data on crime, commercial property sales and assessed values from New York City, relying on an instrumental variables strategy. We find that crime reduces commercial property values, and the magnitude of the effect depends on the type and geography of crime. Elasticities range from −0.1 to −0.5. We find stronger evidence for negative violent crime effects in neighborhoods with lower incomes and higher shares of minority residents. Thus, disadvantaged neighborhoods are doubly harmed by crime - they have higher crime rates and those crimes have stronger effects on economic activity.
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