Local Access to Mental Healthcare and Crime
Johanna Maclean and
Keisha T. Solomon
No 27619, NBER Working Papers from National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc
We estimate the effect of local access to office-based mental healthcare on crime. We leverage variation in the number of mental healthcare offices within a county over the period 1999 to 2014 in a two-way fixed-effects model. We find that increases in the number of mental healthcare offices modestly reduce crime. In particular, ten additional offices in a county reduces crime by 1.7 crimes per 10,000 residents. These findings suggest an unintended benefit from expanding the office-based mental healthcare workforce: reductions in crime.
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