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The dynamics of criminal behavior - Evidence from weather shocks

Archived Abstract of Former PSC Researcher

Jacob, Brian, Lars Lefgren, and Enrico Moretti. 2007. "The dynamics of criminal behavior - Evidence from weather shocks." Journal of Human Resources, 42(3): 489-527.

While the persistence of criminal activity is well documented, this may be due to persistence in the unobserved determinants of crime. There are good reasons to believe, however, that there may actually be a negative relationship between crime rates in a particular area due to temporal displacement. We exploit the correlation between weather and crime to examine the short-run dynamics of crime. Using variation in lagged crime rates due to weather shocks, we find that the positive serial correlation is reversed. These findings suggest that the long-run impact of temporary crime-prevention efforts may be smaller than the short-run effects.

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