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Open accessJournal ArticleDOI: 10.1111/AEPR.12339

COVID-19's Lockdown and Crime Victimization: The State of Emergency under the Abe Administration

04 Mar 2021-Asian Economic Policy Review (John Wiley & Sons, Ltd)-Vol. 16, Iss: 2, pp 327-348
Abstract: COVID-19 has led many governments to impose lockdowns in efforts to reduce the spread of the virus One of the many consequences of the lockdown is a reduction in crime We apply a difference-in-differences approach to the 2018?2020 Crime Statistics to investigate the effect of the 2020 lockdown on crime victimization in Japan We find that the 2020 lockdown leads to 12 7% and 20 9% declines in violent and property crime victimization rates per 100,000 people, respectively Moreover, we observe that premeditated crimes, such as breaking-and-entering and sexual assault, decline more than non-premeditated crimes, such as homicide We also explore the heterogeneous effects of the lockdown by age groups We observe that there is a significant decline in sexual assault victimization for those between the ages of 0 and 29, and there are significant declines in overall violent and property crime victimizations and their subtypes for those between ages of 30 and 59 Finally, we show that there is an improvement in suicide rates, which suggests that better mental health is the mechanism partially mediating the relationship between lockdown and crime victimization

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Topics: Crime statistics (64%), Property crime (59%), Homicide (51%)
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Open accessJournal ArticleDOI: 10.1111/AEPR.12345
Masako1Institutions (1)
Abstract: Shen et al. (2021) investigate the effect of COVID-19 on criminal behavior in Japan using a difference-in-differences approach. Their study covers a 3-year time period from 2018 to 2020, using a database of publicly available crime statistics (Hanzai Toukei) from all 47 prefectures. While there is a growing, global evidence base exploring how the COVID-19 pandemic has affected criminal behavior, Shen et al. is the first to investigate this important social issue in Japan to date. Their key contribution is the finding that Japan’s voluntary lockdown in April and May 2020 reduced both violent and property crime victimization rates significantly. Additional findings show a significant decline in sexual assault victimization for those below the age of 30, and that the 30–59 age group saw the greatest fall in crime victimization due to the COVID-19 pandemic. In this context, I would like to offer some specific comments on Shen et al.’s approach to regional differences in the data, its conclusions on mental health, and, finally, its policy recommendations regarding COVID-19 resource allocation. First, it is not clear why Shen et al. did not consider the regional variations in the data. It is evident from the Hanzai Toukei figures that the decrease in the number of arrests for “property crime” varied by region between 2018 and 2020. Shen et al. closely follows Leslie and Wilson (2020), whose analysis of data on police calls for service from 14 large metropolitan US cities showed that COVID-19 increased domestic violence. Given that city characteristics are unlikely to vary, regional differences in the Japanese data are something that should be emphasized. It would therefore be helpful to explain and justify why these differences were not explored further. Second, I would like to comment on one of Shen et al.’s conclusions pertaining to mental health. Shen et al. state that, “Japan has shown that the lockdown had a positive effect on mental health when proxied by suicide rates.” The statistics do indeed show a decline in the number of suicides during the lockdown. However, the number started to increase after the lockdown. Shen et al. refer to Ueda et al. (2020), and

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1 Citations


Open accessJournal ArticleDOI: 10.1111/AEPR.12344
Yoko Ibuka1Institutions (1)
Abstract: Shen et al. (2021) investigate the impact of the COVID-19 lockdown on criminal incidents in Japan between April and May, 2020, employing two empirical approaches, the difference-in-differences (DID) and event study approaches, where they set the start of the incidence (treatment) to April. They find that the COVID-19 lockdown reduced violent and property crime by 12.7% and 20.9%, respectively. Shen et al. provide a timely analysis of an important research question, and has at least two important contributions in the literature. First, this is the first study on the impact of COVID-19 on criminal incidents in the Japanese context. COVID-19 and the associated mitigation policies had an enormous influence on society, affecting a wide range of areas, including the economy, politics, culture, and crime. Timely assessments of the impact on crime have an important implication for designing further public policy responses to infectious disease pandemics. The impact of COVID-19 differs across countries, and each government adopted different policy measures. It is thus essential to evaluate the impact in various countries. Second, there is an extensive literature on the socio-economic determinants of crime, and Shen et al. add an important insight to this prior research. Prior studies show that various economic variables affect one’s decision to commit a crime, including risk preference, income, opportunity costs, and unemployment (Brosnan, 2018). Shen et al. argue that the voluntary lockdown in Japan positively affected the demand side of crime through various direct and indirect channels. This indicates that COVID-19 would affect different types of crimes differently. Consistent with the theoretical explanations, Shen et al.’s empirical results show that the magnitude and statistical significance of the impact of the COVID-19 lockdown on crime differs according to the type of crime; the largest impact is on breaking-and-entering and there is no significant change in homicide. One of their interesting findings is the heterogeneous impact of COVID-19 by age group on criminal incidents, showing young individuals are the most effected. There

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1 Citations


Open accessJournal ArticleDOI: 10.1016/J.ECONLET.2021.110014
Gerardo Ruiz Sanchez1Institutions (1)
01 Oct 2021-Economics Letters
Abstract: This paper uses 2018-2020 prefecture-month-year, gender-month-year, and age group-month-year level data on suicide rates in Japan to document how suicide rates are evolving during the COVID-19 pandemic. I use a monthly event study design to study changes in suicide rates surrounding Japan's COVID-19 state of emergency and to trace out monthly changes in suicide rates during the first 11 months of 2020 relative to 2018-2019. I find that monthly suicide rates during the pandemic started increasing meaningfully in June-July 2020. I find that women experienced greater increases in suicide rates than men, relative to their 2018-2019 average suicide rate, and that women experienced the largest increase in suicide rates in October 2020. I also find descriptive evidence that in terms of suicide, individuals under 30 years old were faring worse during the pandemic.

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Open accessJournal ArticleDOI: 10.1007/S12103-021-09662-5
Olga B. Semukhina1Institutions (1)
Abstract: The study examines racial differences in crime victimization rates among Black, Hispanic and White individuals during the stay-at-home order in Dallas city, TX. The study is based on sample of 85,958 calls for service recorded by Dallas Police Department between February 13, 2019, and April 30, 2020, where victims have been identified and their race is known. The findings suggest that Blacks were less likely to experience unintended drop in crime rates during the lockdown and also less likely to see decline in crimes against property when compared to both White and Hispanic victims. At the same time Blacks were more likely to experience increase in crimes committed at the apartments during the lockdown with Black females experiencing higher increase than Black males. There were no differences in crime victimization for incidents occurred in public places and crimes against persons.

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References
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24 results found


Open accessJournal ArticleDOI: 10.1086/259394
Abstract: Since the turn of the twentieth century, legislation in Western countries has expanded rapidly to reverse the brief dominance of laissez faire during the nineteenth century. The state no longer merely protects against violations of person and property through murder, rape, or burglary but also restricts ‘discrimination’ against certain minorities, collusive business arrangements, ‘jaywalking’, travel, the materials used in construction, and thousands of other activities. The activities restricted not only are numerous but also range widely, affecting persons in very different pursuits and of diverse social backgrounds, education levels, ages, races, etc. Moreover, the likelihood that an offender will be discovered and convicted and the nature and extent of punishments differ greatly from person to person and activity to activity. Yet, in spite of such diversity, some common properties are shared by practically all legislation, and these properties form the subject matter of this essay.

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Topics: Property crime (54%), Legislation (52%), Poison control (51%) ... read more

9,114 Citations


Open accessJournal ArticleDOI: 10.3368/JHR.50.2.317
Abstract: We consider statistical inference for regression when data are grouped into clus- ters, with regression model errors independent across clusters but correlated within clusters. Examples include data on individuals with clustering on village or region or other category such as industry, and state-year dierences-in-dierences studies with clustering on state. In such settings default standard errors can greatly overstate es- timator precision. Instead, if the number of clusters is large, statistical inference after OLS should be based on cluster-robust standard errors. We outline the basic method as well as many complications that can arise in practice. These include cluster-specic �xed eects, few clusters, multi-way clustering, and estimators other than OLS.

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Topics: Cluster analysis (58%), Statistical inference (56%), Fuzzy clustering (55%) ... read more

2,582 Citations


Open accessJournal ArticleDOI: 10.1162/REST.90.3.414
Abstract: Researchers have increasingly realized the need to account for within-group dependence in estimating standard errors of regression parameter estimates. The usual solution is to calculate cluster-robust standard errors that permit heteroskedasticity and within-cluster error correlation, but presume that the number of clusters is large. Standard asymptotic tests can over-reject, however, with few (five to thirty) clusters. We investigate inference using cluster bootstrap-t procedures that provide asymptotic refinement. These procedures are evaluated using Monte Carlos, including the example of Bertrand, Duflo, and Mullainathan (2004). Rejection rates of 10% using standard methods can be reduced to the nominal size of 5% using our methods.

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Topics: Standard error (54%), Heteroscedasticity (53%), Nominal size (51%)

2,131 Citations


Journal ArticleDOI: 10.1080/01621459.1988.10478575
John Burbidge1, Lonnie Magee1, A. Leslie Robb1Institutions (1)
Abstract: Transformations that could be used to reduce the influence of extreme observations of dependent variables, which can assume either sign, on regression coefficient estimates are studied in this article. Two that seem reasonable on a priori grounds—the extended Box—Cox (BC) and the inverse hyperbolic sine (IHS)—are evaluated in detail. One feature is that the log-likelihood function for IHS is defined for zero values of the dependent variable, which is not true of BC. The double-length regression technique (Davidson and MacKinnon 1984) is used to perform hypothesis tests of one transformation against the other using Canadian data on household net worth. These tests support the use of IHS instead of BC for this data set. Empirical investigators in economics often work with a logged dependent variable (taking the natural logarithm of a data series is, of course, a special case of BC) to reduce the weight their particular estimation procedure might otherwise attach to extreme values of the dependent v...

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Topics: Variables (54%), Linear regression (52%), Extreme value theory (52%)

983 Citations


Journal ArticleDOI: 10.1016/J.JAD.2013.01.004
Abstract: Background Depression is the most common psychiatric disorder in people who die by suicide. Awareness of risk factors for suicide in depression is important for clinicians. Methods In a systematic review of the international literature we identified cohort and case-control studies of people with depression in which suicide was an outcome, and conducted meta-analyses of potential risk factors. Results Nineteen studies (28 publications) were included. Factors significantly associated with suicide were: male gender (OR=1.76, 95% CI=1.08–2.86), family history of psychiatric disorder (OR=1.41, 95% CI=1.00–1.97), previous attempted suicide (OR=4.84, 95% CI=3.26–7.20), more severe depression (OR=2.20, 95% CI=1.05–4.60), hopelessness (OR=2.20, 95% CI=1.49–3.23) and comorbid disorders, including anxiety (OR=1.59, 95% CI=1.03–2.45) and misuse of alcohol and drugs (OR=2.17, 95% CI=1.77–2.66). Limitations There were fewer studies than suspected. Interdependence between risk factors could not be examined. Conclusions The factors identified should be included in clinical assessment of risk in depressed patients. Further large-scale studies are required to identify other relevant factors.

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Topics: Suicide prevention (59%), Depression (differential diagnoses) (57%), Poison control (53%) ... read more

765 Citations


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