Assaults, murders and walkers: The impact of violent crime on physical activity

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Abstract

We investigate an underexplored externality of crime: the impact of violent crime on individuals' participation in walking. For many adults walking is the only regular physical activity. We use a sample of nearly 1 million people in 323 small areas in England between 2005 and 2011 matched to quarterly crime data at the small area level. Within area variation identifies the causal effect of local violent crime on walking and a difference-in-difference analysis of two high-profile crimes corroborates our results. We find a significant deterrent effect of violent crime on walking that translates into a drop in overall physical activity.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)34-49
Number of pages16
JournalJournal of Health Economics
Volume47
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 May 2016

Keywords

  • Violent crime
  • Walking
  • Physical activity
  • Externality
  • Local area

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