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Project Citation: 

Herrnstadt, Evan, Heyes, Anthony, Muehlegger, Erich, and Saberian, Soodeh. Data and Code for: Air Pollution and Criminal Activity - Microgeographic Evidence from Chicago. Nashville, TN: American Economic Association [publisher], 2021. Ann Arbor, MI: Inter-university Consortium for Political and Social Research [distributor], 2021-09-20.

Project Description

Summary:  View help for Summary
A growing literature documents that air pollution adversely impacts health, productivity, and cognition. This paper provides the first evidence of a causal link between air pollution and aggressive behavior, as documented by violent crime. Using the geolocation of crimes in Chicago from 2001-2012, we compare crime upwind and downwind of major highways on days when wind blows orthogonally to the road. Consistent with research linking pollution to aggression, we find air pollution increases violent crime on the downwind sides of interstates. Our results suggest that pollution may reduce welfare and affect behavior through a wider set of channels than previously considered.

Scope of Project

Subject Terms:  View help for Subject Terms Air Pollution; violent crime; property crimes
JEL Classification:  View help for JEL Classification
      Q50 Environmental Economics: General
      Q51 Valuation of Environmental Effects
      Q52 Pollution Control Adoption and Costs; Distributional Effects; Employment Effects
      Q53 Air Pollution; Water Pollution; Noise; Hazardous Waste; Solid Waste; Recycling
Geographic Coverage:  View help for Geographic Coverage Chicago, IL
Time Period(s):  View help for Time Period(s) 1/1/2001 – 12/31/2012
Collection Date(s):  View help for Collection Date(s) 1/1/2013 – 3/31/2013
Universe:  View help for Universe Crimes reported to the Chicago Police Department between 1/1/2001 and 12/31/2012.
Data Type(s):  View help for Data Type(s) administrative records data; geographic information system (GIS) data


Data Source:  View help for Data Source Chicago Police Department - Citizen Law Enforcement Analysis and Reporting system, National Climatic Data Center
Unit(s) of Observation:  View help for Unit(s) of Observation Reported crimes

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