Frustration, euphoria, and violent crime

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February 2013
Paper author(s): 
Ignacio Munyo
Martín A. Rossi
Conflict, Crime and Violence

We exploit a series of natural experiments that use real crime data to investigate the effect of a violation of expectancies on violent crime. We study two types of violation of expectancies that generate the emotions of frustration and euphoria. Our empirical designs exploit differential expectations (as measured by the odds of soccer games in the betting market) while maintaining the outcome unchanged (a loss in a soccer game for frustration, a win in a soccer game for euphoria). We find that frustration is followed by a spike in violent crime whereas euphoria is followed by a reduction in violent crime. The two effects are concentrated in a narrow time window after the end of the game: 1 h.


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