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Crime, Urban Flight, and the Consequences for Cities

Julie Berry Cullen and Steven D. Levitt
The Review of Economics and Statistics
Vol. 81, No. 2 (May, 1999), pp. 159-169
Published by: MIT Press
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/2646853
Page Count: 11
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Crime, Urban Flight, and the Consequences for Cities
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Abstract

This paper analyzes the link between rising city crime rates and urban flight. Each additional reported crime is associated with a roughly one-person decline in city population. Almost all of the crime-related population decline is attributable to increased out-migration rather than a decrease in new arrivals. Households that leave the city because of crime are much more likely to remain within the Standard Metropolitan Statistical Area (SMSA) than those that leave the city for other reasons. Migration decisions of highly educated households and those with children are particularly responsive to changes in crime. Causality appears to run from rising crime rates to city depopulation.

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