Uber and Urban Crime – Transportation Research Part A: Policy and Practice – article

Uber and Urban Crime

Bryan S. Weber | Transportation Research Part A: Policy and Practice

2019-10-15

This paper investigates the association of Uber, a substantial transportation innovation, with crime counts in urban areas that have accepted the program. I find the introduction of Uber to be associated with a large and significant reduction of personal crimes by 5% in treated cities (about 43 personal crimes a month, roughly 41 assaults), and discuss several mechanisms through which Uber may be enacting this change. The detailed data set allows us to identify that this crime reduction is equally significant on the weekends, when Uber is expected to deliver the most rides to and from bars. Furthermore, the significant personal crime reduction is almost entirely composed of assaults, which are known to typically be alcohol-related, while no significant reduction occurs in the plausibly irrelevant crimes against property, society, or other personal crimes. These estimates suggests that such ride-sharing programs may have positive effects toward crime reduction that otherwise may not inherently be taken into account by policy makers.

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