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The effect of Western TV on crime: Evidence from East Germany

Tim Friehe, Helge Mueller () and Florian Neumeier ()
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Helge Mueller: University of Marburg

MAGKS Papers on Economics from Philipps-Universität Marburg, Faculty of Business Administration and Economics, Department of Economics (Volkswirtschaftliche Abteilung)

Abstract: This paper explores the causal infl uence of Western television programming on crime rates. We exploit a natural experiment involving access to West German TV within the German Democratic Republic (GDR) in which only geography and topography determined the allocation of individuals to treatment and control groups. Focusing on violent and property crime (as these domains were most likely to be affected by the marked differences in TV content), we find that in the post-reunification decade in which TV content was harmonized, regions that had access to Western TV broadcasts prior to the reunification experienced lower rates of violent crime, sex crime, and theft, but more fraud.

Keywords: Crime; Television; Media; Natural experiment; Germany. (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: J22 K42 P37 P39 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Pages: 32 pages
Date: 2017
New Economics Papers: this item is included in nep-cul and nep-law
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https://www.uni-marburg.de/fb02/makro/forschung/ma ... 7/10-2017_friehe.pdf First 201710 (application/pdf)

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