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Monday, October 23, 2006

Violent Movies Decrease Violent Crime

From the flying in the face of conventional "wisdom" department:

Laboratory experiments in psychology find that exposure to media violence increases aggression.  In this paper, we provide field evidence on this question.  We exploit variation in violence of blockbuster movies between 1995 and 2002, and study the effect on same-day assaults.  We find that violent crime decreases on days with higher theater audiences for violent movies.  The effect is mostly driven by incapacitation: between 6PM and 12AM, an increase of one million in the audience for violent movies reduces violent crime by 1.5 to 2 percent.  After the exposure to the movie, between 12AM and 6AM, crime is still reduced but the effect is smaller and less robust.  We obtain similar, but noisier, results using data on DVD and VHS rentals.  Overall, we find no evidence of a temporary surge in violent crime due to exposure to movie violence.  Rather, our estimates suggest that in the short-run violent movies deter over 200 assaults daily.
-- Do violent movies cause violent crime?(Marginal Revolution)

Wonder what the results would be like for a Grand Theft Auto release. Once again, insane fanatics like BatJack like to point t to specific sections of papers to prove his point - but he's never been able to point to any stats for his cause. Likely because like his logic - they're non-existant.

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