Journal article

Assaults, murders and walkers: The impact of violent crime on physical activity

Katharina Janke, Carol Propper, Michael A Shields

JOURNAL OF HEALTH ECONOMICS | ELSEVIER SCIENCE BV | Published : 2016

Abstract

We investigate an underexplored externality of crime: the impact of violent crime on individuals' participation in walking. For many adults walking is the only regular physical activity. We use a sample of nearly 1 million people in 323 small areas in England between 2005 and 2011 matched to quarterly crime data at the small area level. Within area variation identifies the causal effect of local violent crime on walking and a difference-in-difference analysis of two high-profile crimes corroborates our results. We find a significant deterrent effect of violent crime on walking that translates into a drop in overall physical activity.