Econometrics & Applied Economics Seminar - Katrien Stevens (University of Sydney)

Room 605, Level 6, FBE Building, 111 Barry Street, Carlton

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Title: Do Situational Crime Prevention Measures Result in the Displacement of Crime: A Quasi-Experiment in Sydney

Abstract: In this paper we evaluate the direct and displacement effect of the 2014 “Lockout Laws" which restricted the nigh-time sale and consumption of alcoholic beverages in Sydney (Australia). These laws aimed at reducing alcohol-related assaults but targeted only the two entertainment precincts with the highest rates of assault. A few months after the laws were implemented, anecdotal evidence suggested a displacement of assaults to alternative night-life hotspots that were not subject to the laws. Using difference in difference methods, we  find that the policy did cause a substantial decrease in assaults in the targeted areas but also displaced more than half of them into surrounding areas. The displacement is concentrated in particular areas that emerged over time as new night-life hotspots where assaults increased by 10-20%, suggesting this type of policies can generate localized externalities.