Economics

Document Type

Article

Abstract

This paper examines the impact of district-level crime rates in South Africa on individual depression symptoms. We use panel data from the National Income Dynamics Survey collected between 2008 and 2014 and estimate an individual fixed effects regression model, thus controlling for characteristics of the individual's environment that could affect crime and mental health. We find that an increase of one standard deviation in property (violent) crime is associated with a 7.2 (8.7) percentage point increase in the probability of depression symptoms. Analysis of potential mechanisms suggests that indirect exposure to crime likely affects mental health by increasing stress rather than by changing physical health or labor market outcomes. © 2023 The Authors. Review of Development Economics published by John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

Publication Title

Review of Development Economics

Publication Date

2023

ISSN

1363-6669

DOI

10.1111/rode.13074

Keywords

crime, depression, mental health, South Africa

Included in

Economics Commons

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