NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH
NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH
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Cecilia Machado

Getulio Vargas Foundation (EPGE-FGV)

E-Mail: cecilia.machado@fgv.br
Institutional Affiliation: Getulio Vargas Foundation

NBER Working Papers and Publications

May 2019It's the Phone, Stupid: Mobiles and Murder
with Lena Edlund: w25883
US homicide rates fell sharply in the early 1990s, a decade that also saw the mainstreaming of cell phones – a concurrence that may be more than a coincidence, we propose. Cell phones may have undercut turf-based street dealing, thus undermining drug-dealing profits of street gangs, entities known to engage in violent crime. Studying county-level data for the years 1970-2009 we find that the expansion of cellular phone service (as proxied by antenna-structure density) lowered homicide rates in the 1990s. Furthermore, effects were concentrated in urban counties; among Black or Hispanic males; and more gang/drug-associated homicides.
November 2015Gentrification and the Rising Returns to Skill
with Lena Edlund, Maria Micaela Sviatschi: w21729
In 1980, housing prices in large US cities rose with distance from the city center. By 2010, that relationship had reversed. We propose that the inversion can be traced to more hours worked by the skilled. Scarce non-market time downgrades the importance of residential space and upgrades that of proximity to work, factors favoring the central-city location. Geo- coded census micro data covering the 27 largest US cities and the period 1980-2010 support our hypothesis: full-time skilled workers are more likely to locate in the city center and their growth can account for the observed price changes.
 
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