Crime and the Timing of Work
NBER Working Paper No. 6613
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.
Published: Journal of Urban Economics, Vol. 45, no. 2 (March 1999): 311-330