Discussion paper

DP9430 Agglomeration, City Size and Crime

This paper analyzes the relationship between crime and agglomeration where the land, labor, product, and crime markets are endogenously determined. We show that in bigger cities there is relatively more crime, a standard stylized fact of most cities in the world. We also show that, in the short run when individuals are not mobile, a reduction in commuting costs (or a better access to jobs) decreases crime while, in the long run with free mobility, the effect is ambiguous. Finally, we show that the most efficient way of reducing total crime is to use both a transportation and a crime policy that decreases commuting costs and increases policy resources.


Zenou, Y and C Gaigné (2013), ‘DP9430 Agglomeration, City Size and Crime‘, CEPR Discussion Paper No. 9430. CEPR Press, Paris & London. https://cepr.org/publications/dp9430