The Deterrent Effect of Ride-Sharing on Sexual Assault and Investigation of Situational Contingencies

Information Systems Research (Forthcoming)

103 Pages Posted: 11 Apr 2017 Last revised: 21 Sep 2020

See all articles by Jiyong Park

Jiyong Park

University of North Carolina (UNC) at Greensboro - Bryan School of Business & Economics

Min-Seok Pang

Temple University - Department of Management Information Systems

Junetae Kim

affiliation not provided to SSRN

Byungtae Lee

Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology (KAIST)

Date Written: September 18, 2020

Abstract

Sexual assault is one of the most repellant and costly crimes, which inflicts irrecoverable harms on victims and society. This study examines the effect of IT-enabled ride-sharing platforms on sexual assaults. Drawing upon routine activity theory from the criminology literature, we posit that ride-sharing can reduce a passenger’s risk of being a suitable target of sexual assault by providing a more reliable and timely transportation option for traveling to a safer place. By exploiting the nationwide quasi-experimental setting of Uber’s city-by-city rollouts in the United States during 2005–2017, we demonstrate that Uber’s entry into a city is negatively associated with the number of rape incidents. To zoom into the effects of ride-sharing at a more granular level, we employ precinct-hour level data on Uber pickups and rape occurrences in New York City in 2015 and conduct spatiotemporal analyses. Our results from the spatiotemporal analyses corroborate those of the quasi-experiment and further reveal situational contingencies in the deterrent effect of ride-sharing. Specifically, ride-sharing contributes to a more significant reduction in the likelihood of rape occurrences in neighborhoods with limited transportation accessibility, and ride-sharing is more effective in deterring sexual crime in riskier circumstances, such as around alcohol-serving places on weekend nights or when the probability of crime occurrences increases. This study sheds new light on the potential of IT-enabled platforms to improve social well-being beyond their economic contributions and offers a new theoretical insight on the distinct role of digital platforms in public safety.

Keywords: Ride-Sharing, Sharing Economy, Sexual Assault, Criminology, Routine Activity Theory, Societal Impact of Information Systems

Suggested Citation

Park, Jiyong and Pang, Min-Seok and Kim, Junetae and Lee, Byungtae, The Deterrent Effect of Ride-Sharing on Sexual Assault and Investigation of Situational Contingencies (September 18, 2020). Information Systems Research (Forthcoming), Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2951138 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2951138

Jiyong Park

University of North Carolina (UNC) at Greensboro - Bryan School of Business & Economics ( email )

401 Bryan Building
Greensboro, NC 27402-6179
United States

HOME PAGE: http://jiyong-park.github.io/

Min-Seok Pang (Contact Author)

Temple University - Department of Management Information Systems ( email )

1810 N. 13th Street
Floor 2
Philadelphia, PA 19128
United States
215-204-3059 (Phone)

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

Junetae Kim

affiliation not provided to SSRN

Byungtae Lee

Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology (KAIST) ( email )

373-1 Kusong-dong
Yuson-gu
Taejon 305-701, 130-722

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