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Not in My Backyard? Not So Fast. The Effect of Marijuana Legalization on Neighborhood Crime
This paper studies the effects of marijuana legalization on neighborhood crime using unique geospatial data from Denver, Colorado. We construct a highly local panel data set that includes changes in the location of marijuana dispensaries and changes in neighborhood crime. To account for endogenous retail dispensary locations, we use a novel identification strategy that exploits exogenous changes in demand across different locations. The change in geographic demand arises from the increased importance of access to external markets caused by a change in state and local policy. The results imply ...
The Impact of Felony Larceny Thresholds on Crime in New England
Criminal justice reform has been a high-priority policy area in New England and the nation in recent years. States are generally seeking legislation that would help reintegrate ex-offenders into society while still prioritizing the welfare of all members of the public and the achievement of fiscal goals. The research findings presented in this report indicate that raising felony larceny thresholds—that is, increasing the dollar value of stolen property at or above which a larceny offense may be charged in court as a felony rather than a misdemeanor, a policy adopted by three New England ...
Do Immigrants Threaten U.S. Public Safety?
Opponents of immigration often claim that immigrants, particularly those who are unauthorized, are more likely than U.S. natives to commit crimes and that they pose a threat to public safety. There is little evidence to support these claims. In fact, research overwhelmingly indicates that immigrants are less likely than similar U.S. natives to commit violent and property crimes, and that areas with more immigrants have similar or lower rates of violent and property crimes than areas with fewer immigrants. There are relatively few studies specifically of criminal behavior among unauthorized ...
Punishment and Crime: The Impact of Felony Conviction on Criminal Activity
This paper uses increases in felony larceny thresholds as a negative shock to felony conviction probability to examine the impact of punishment severity on criminal behavior. In the theft value distribution between old and new larceny thresholds (“response region”), higher thresholds cause a 2 percent increase in the average larceny value within 120 days of enactment. However, within five years of enactment, response region average larceny values and rates decline 2 percentand 13 percent, respectively, in low-wage areas. Thus, under certain market conditions, smaller expected penalties ...