Weather and crime: Cautious evidence from South Africa
Mirjam Anna Brüderle,
Jörg Peters () and
No 940, Ruhr Economic Papers from RWI - Leibniz-Institut für Wirtschaftsforschung, Ruhr-University Bochum, TU Dortmund University, University of Duisburg-Essen
South Africa has one of the highest crime rates in the world. This paper examines the effect of weather shocks on various types of crime. Using a 12-year panel data set at monthly resolution on the police ward level, we observe a short-term effect of temperatures on violent crime, supporting the heat-aggression link suggested by psychological research. Furthermore, we find evidence for a subtle medium-term effect of weather on crime via droughts and agricultural income, which is in line with the economic theory of crime. Yet, we also emphasize often neglected but well-documented limitations to the interpretability of weather data and weather-induced mechanisms. Recognizing these limitations, we conclude with a cautious interpretation of our findings to inform police deployment strategies.
Keywords: South Africa; weather; crime; income shocks (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: C33 O55 Q54 R11 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
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Persistent link: https://EconPapers.repec.org/RePEc:zbw:rwirep:940
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