Burning down the couch

It’s a simple question.  Does college football cause higher crime?

Apparently, the answer is yes, at least according to one study.

… they look to see what happens on game day. Their findings are quite striking, and they report large rises in assaults, vandalism, and disorderly conduct on game days. As might be expected, this effect is large in the city of the home team, but basically non-existent in the city of the visitors.

You might be worried that this rise in arrests reflects more police on the street on game day (and hence more arrests per crime), rather than simply more crime. But the authors provide a clever response, noting that upset losses by the home team have a particularly large effect on violent assaults, while expected losses have little effect. Unless police chiefs are also successfully forecasting football outcomes, it seems that this alternative explanation doesn’t hold water.

Interesting stuff, although I think the authors are too dismissive of the role that alcohol plays in this. Sure, the programs don’t sell the stuff in the stadium, but it’s still getting in, either already consumed by patrons, or in a form to be consumed.

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2 Comments

Filed under College Football, Crime and Punishment

2 responses to “Burning down the couch

  1. dean

    The word “duh” comes to mind. Really, it took a study to find that arrests go up on game day. You get thousands of passionate fans together, mix in some drunk A-holes and arrests go up. Who’d a thunk it.
    I hope my tax dollars didn’t fund this study.

  2. Best….Title….EVER