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The Urban Crime and Heat Gradient in High and Low Poverty Areas

Kilian Heilmann and Matthew Kahn

No 25961, NBER Working Papers from National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc

Abstract: We use spatially disaggregated daily crime data for the City of Los Angeles to measure the impact of heat and pollution on crime and to study how this relationship varies across the city. On average, overall crime increases by 2.2% and violent crime by 5.7% on days with maximum daily temperatures above 85 degrees Fahrenheit (29.4° C) compared to days below that threshold. The heat-crime relationship is more pronounced in low-income neighborhoods. This suggests that heat shocks can increase spatial urban quality of life differences through their effect on crime. We use other administrative data and find some evidence that policing intensity declines on extremely hot days. These findings highlight that the quality of urban governance during times of extreme stress may be an important policy lever in helping all socio-economic groups adapt to climate change.

JEL-codes: H41 Q53 Q54 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2019-06
New Economics Papers: this item is included in nep-env, nep-res and nep-ure
Note: EEE PE
References: View references in EconPapers View complete reference list from CitEc
Citations: View citations in EconPapers (13)

Published as Heilmann, Kilian & Kahn, Matthew E. & Tang, Cheng Keat, 2021. "The urban crime and heat gradient in high and low poverty areas," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 197(C).

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Journal Article: The urban crime and heat gradient in high and low poverty areas (2021) Downloads
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