Research Publication Title

Does Professional Sports Team Performance Affect City Crime?

Presenter Information

Matthew StuddardFollow

Major

Economics

Faculty Mentor

Dr. Brooke Conaway

Keywords

Sports, Crime, City, Professional, Predictions, Efficiency

Abstract

In 2018, the US saw 1.2 million violent crimes and 7.2 million property crimes reported, including murder, robbery, aggravated assault, rape, motor vehicle theft, burglary, larceny, and theft. Being able to use more factors to predict crime not only has the potential to make the community safer but could also reduce costs of law enforcement in specific areas. Being able to predict when crime is more or less likely to occur, for example at certain sporting events, may allow cities to use their police resources more efficiently. Prior work estimates the effect of population changes on city crime rates, but no prior literature has examined how sports team performance might affect crime. I used city-level data collected from 2006-2014 to estimate whether professional sports team performance affects city crime. I used every city in the United States with at least one professional team, and collected data from sports reference websites along with the Uniform Crime Report for crime and population data. The Department of Numbers was used to collect household income data for each city. I ran four different regressions, with the number of observations ranging between 232 and 377, using data from professional football, baseball, and basketball teams, as well as pooled data for cities with multiple teams. Using an ordinary least squares regression technique, I found that and a one percentage point increase in total combined win percentage for the three major professional sports (baseball, basketball, and football) is associated with 17 additional crimes. I also found that a one percentage point increase in win percentage for professional baseball teams is associated with 44,000 additional crimes.

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Does Professional Sports Team Performance Affect City Crime?

In 2018, the US saw 1.2 million violent crimes and 7.2 million property crimes reported, including murder, robbery, aggravated assault, rape, motor vehicle theft, burglary, larceny, and theft. Being able to use more factors to predict crime not only has the potential to make the community safer but could also reduce costs of law enforcement in specific areas. Being able to predict when crime is more or less likely to occur, for example at certain sporting events, may allow cities to use their police resources more efficiently. Prior work estimates the effect of population changes on city crime rates, but no prior literature has examined how sports team performance might affect crime. I used city-level data collected from 2006-2014 to estimate whether professional sports team performance affects city crime. I used every city in the United States with at least one professional team, and collected data from sports reference websites along with the Uniform Crime Report for crime and population data. The Department of Numbers was used to collect household income data for each city. I ran four different regressions, with the number of observations ranging between 232 and 377, using data from professional football, baseball, and basketball teams, as well as pooled data for cities with multiple teams. Using an ordinary least squares regression technique, I found that and a one percentage point increase in total combined win percentage for the three major professional sports (baseball, basketball, and football) is associated with 17 additional crimes. I also found that a one percentage point increase in win percentage for professional baseball teams is associated with 44,000 additional crimes.

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