Working Paper Series
Racial Beliefs, Location and the Causes of Crime
() and Yves Zenou
Abstract: 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.
Keywords: Self-Fulfilling Prejudies; Urban Black Ghettos; Crime; (follow links to similar papers)
JEL-Codes: J15; K42; R14; (follow links to similar papers)
39 pages, October 21, 2003
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