NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH
NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH

Crime and the Timing of Work

Daniel S. Hamermesh

NBER Working Paper No. 6613
Issued in June 1998
NBER Program(s):   LS

Two striking facts describe work timing in the United States: a lower propensity to work evenings and nights in large metropolitan areas, and a secular decline in such work since 1973. One explanation is higher and possibly increasing crime in large areas. I link Current Population Survey data on work timing to FBI crime reports. Neither fact is explained by changes in nor inter-area differences in crime rates, but higher homicide rates do reduce such work. This reduction implicitly costs the economy between $4 and $10 billion. This negative externality illustrates a larger class of previously unmeasured costs of social pathologies.

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Document Object Identifier (DOI): 10.3386/w6613

Published: Journal of Urban Economics, Vol. 45, no. 2 (March 1999): 311-330 citation courtesy of

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