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Media and crime perceptions: Evidence from Mexico

Aurora Alejandra Ramírez-Álvarez

Serie documentos de trabajo del Centro de Estudios Económicos from El Colegio de México, Centro de Estudios Económicos

Abstract: This paper examines whether individuals' crime perceptions and crime avoidance behavior respond to changes in crime news coverage. I use data from Mexico, where major media groups agreed to reduce coverage of violence in March 2011. Using a unique dataset on national news content and machine learning techniques, I document that after the Agreement, crime news coverage on television, radio, and newspapers decreases relative to the national homicide rate. Using survey data, I find robust evidence that crime perceptions respond to this change in content. After the Agreement, individuals with higher media exposure are less likely to report that they feel insecure and that their country, state, or municipality is insecure, relative to individuals with lower media exposure. However, I show that these changes in crime perceptions are not accompanied by changes in crime avoidance behavior (i.e. no longer going out at night for fear of being a victim of crime), or at least that e ects are much smaller.

Keywords: mass media; persuasion; crime perception; Mexico. (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: D83 K42 L82 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2017-05
New Economics Papers: this item is included in nep-big, nep-cul, nep-law and nep-ure
References: View references in EconPapers View complete reference list from CitEc
Citations: View citations in EconPapers (1) Track citations by RSS feed

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Persistent link: https://EconPapers.repec.org/RePEc:emx:ceedoc:2017-06

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