Entertainment as Crime Prevention: Evidence From Chicago Sports Games

Ryan Copus, Hannah S Laqueur

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Scopus citations


The concern that mass media may be responsible for aggressive and criminal behavior is widespread. Comparatively little consideration has been given to its diversionary function. We test for the effect of television entertainment on crime by leveraging the randomness inherent in the scheduling of sporting events. We compare Chicago crime reports by the half hour when Chicago’s sports teams are playing to reports at the same time, day, and month when the teams are not playing. We conduct the same analysis for the Super Bowl, National Basketball Association Finals, and Major League Baseball World Series. We find consistent decreases in crime during games. Short-term crime displacement is minimal or nonexistent.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)344-370
Number of pages27
JournalJournal of Sports Economics
Issue number3
StatePublished - Apr 1 2019


  • crime
  • displacement
  • routine activities

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Economics, Econometrics and Finance (miscellaneous)


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