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Traffic and Crime

Louis-Philippe Beland () and Daniel Brent ()

Departmental Working Papers from Department of Economics, Louisiana State University

Abstract: We study the link between crime and emotional cues associated with unexpected traffic. Our empirical analysis combines police incident reports with observations of local traffic data in Los Angeles from 2011 to 2015. This rich dataset allows us to link traffic with criminal activity at a fine spatial and temporal dimension. Our identification relies on deviations from normal traffic to isolate the impact of abnormally bad traffic on crime. We find that traffic above the 95th percentile increases the incidence of domestic violence, a crime shown to be affected by emotional cues, but not other crimes. The results represent a lower bound of the psychological costs of traffic; an externality that is not typically quantified in contrast to pollution, health impacts and lost time that have been established in the literature.

Date: 2017-02
New Economics Papers: this item is included in nep-tre and nep-ure
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Journal Article: Traffic and crime (2018) Downloads
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