Discussion paper

DP6840 Crime and Ethnicity in London

This paper studies the relationship between a community's ethnic population density and its crime rate. We compare the spatial distribution of crime and the black population across the 32 London boroughs. Once endogeneity and sorting issues are taken into account, we find that the higher is the density of the ethnic population in a given borough, the higher is the crime rate. This effect is still positive but lower for neighbouring boroughs and ceases to exist beyond a 40 minute driving distance. Social interactions between individuals of the same ethnic group are the most likely explanation for this positive relationship.


Zenou, Y and E Patacchini (2008), ‘DP6840 Crime and Ethnicity in London‘, CEPR Discussion Paper No. 6840. CEPR Press, Paris & London. https://cepr.org/publications/dp6840