'Ain't No Rest for the Wicked': Population, Crime, and the 2013 Government Shutdown

23 Pages Posted: 7 Mar 2015

See all articles by Ricard Gil

Ricard Gil

Queen's University (Canada) - Smith School of Business

Mario Macis

Johns Hopkins University - Carey Business School; IZA Institute of Labor Economics; National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)

Abstract

The vast majority of the empirical literature on crime has focused on the effects of "supply-side" shocks such as the severity of laws and enforcement. In this paper we analyze the effects of a large and unexpected "demand-side" shock: the drop in daytime population in Washington, DC caused by the government shutdown of October 1-16, 2013. We derive implications from a simple theoretical model where criminals choose effort and allocate it across different criminal activities. We test these implications using the city of Baltimore as the comparison group, and employing difference-in-differences methods. Consistent with the model's predictions (and inconsistent with alternative explanations), we find a 3% decline in crime in DC during the shutdown period, with the net effect resulting from a 9% decline during the day hours, and a 5% increase in crime during the evening and night hours, indicating reallocation of criminals' effort induced by the shutdown.

Keywords: crime, population, labor supply

JEL Classification: K42, J22

Suggested Citation

Gil, Ricard and Macis, Mario, 'Ain't No Rest for the Wicked': Population, Crime, and the 2013 Government Shutdown. IZA Discussion Paper No. 8864, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2575044

Ricard Gil (Contact Author)

Queen's University (Canada) - Smith School of Business ( email )

Smith School of Business - Queen's University
143 Union Street
Kingston, Ontario K7L 3N6
Canada

Mario Macis

Johns Hopkins University - Carey Business School ( email )

100 International Drive
Baltimore, MD 21202
United States

IZA Institute of Labor Economics ( email )

P.O. Box 7240
Bonn, D-53072
Germany

National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER) ( email )

1050 Massachusetts Avenue
Cambridge, MA 02138
United States

Do you have a job opening that you would like to promote on SSRN?

Paper statistics

Downloads
52
Abstract Views
540
rank
455,963
PlumX Metrics