Working Paper No. 602

Racial Beliefs, Location and the Causes of Crime

Published: October 21, 2003Pages: 39Keywords: Self-Fulfilling Prejudices; Urban Black Ghettos; Crime JEL-codes: J15; K42; R14

Racial Beliefs, Location and the Causes of Crime Thierry Verdier and Yves Zenou


This paper provides a unified explanation for why blacks commit more crime, are located in poorer neighborhoods and receive lower wages than whites. If everybody believes that blacks are more criminal than whites – even if there is no basis for this – then blacks are offered lower wages and, as a result, locate further away from jobs. Distant residence increases even more the black-white wage gap because of more tiredness and higher commuting costs. Blacks have thus a lower opportunity cost of committing crime and become indeed more criminal than whites. Therefore beliefs are self-fulfilling.

 

Interdisciplinary European Studies

The European Union and the Return of the Nation State

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This book explores the complex and ever-changing relationship between the European Union and its member states. The recent surge in tension in this relationship has been prompted by the actions of some member state governments as they question fundamental EU values and principles and refuse to implement common decisions seemingly on the basis of narrowly defined national interests.

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