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Gold, silver, and bronze: Measuring the impact of the Beijing 2008, London 2012, and Rio de Janeiro 2016 Olympics on crime

Yongqi Chen, Jordan R. Riddell, Joshua B. Hill, Peng Chen, Alex R. Piquero and Justin Kurland

Journal of Criminal Justice, 2022, vol. 78, issue C

Abstract: Despite the expanding research base around sporting events and crime, little is known about the impact of mega-sporting events, such as the Olympics, on crime. In this article, we seek to expand upon the small literature around mega-sporting events by examining police-recorded crime data for the period before, during, and after the Beijing 2008, London 2012, and Rio de Janeiro 2016 Summer Olympic games both temporally and spatially. The analyses indicate that the effects of the Olympics on crime varies by location and crime type. All crimes significantly decreased in Olympic and non-Olympic related areas for Beijing, while only assault decreased in London regardless of geographic location. Increases were observed for robbery and bicycle theft in London and Rio de Janeiro, though only in Olympic areas. Our findings suggest mega-sporting events may have a differential effect on crime across cities as hundreds of thousands of tourists generate more offending opportunities at the Olympics.

Keywords: Olympics; Crime; Mega-sporting events (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2022
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DOI: 10.1016/j.jcrimjus.2021.101880

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