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Do Public Libraries Help Mitigate Crime? Evidence from Kansas City, MO

Amir Borges Ferreira Neto, Jennifer Nowicki and Shishir Shakya

MPRA Paper from University Library of Munich, Germany

Abstract: We examine the relationship between public libraries and local crime rates. Previous studies have looked at different factors that could account for changes in crime, but few have focused on cultural institutions as a primary factor. Using crime data from the Crime Open Database and library data from the Public Library Survey, we leverage the geolocation of crimes and libraries and explore opening a new public library branch in Kansas City, MO. We use a difference-in-difference strategy. Our results show that public library may reduce crime within its nearby proximity. In particular, we find within the nearby proximity of the library a substantial reduction of burglary, vandalism, robbery, fraud, and assault. However, such effects vanish in the distant proximity of the library.

Keywords: crime; public library; geolocation; cultural institutions; Kansas City (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: R12 Z19 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2021-12
New Economics Papers: this item is included in nep-cul, nep-law and nep-ure
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Persistent link: https://EconPapers.repec.org/RePEc:pra:mprapa:111073

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