Wednesday, May 29, 2019

Mobile phones save lives--but not in the way that you think

Before the 1990's, gangs created markets for illegal drugs based on location, and used violence to protect their markets ("turf") from entry by outsiders.  This changed with the advent of mobile phones, as it became relatively easy for non-gang members to organize illegal drug transactions over the phone. As a consequence homicide rates fell sharply:
Studying county-level data for the years 1970-2009 we find that the expansion of cellular phone service (as proxied by antenna-structure density) lowered homicide rates in the 1990s. Furthermore, effects were concentrated in urban counties; among Black or Hispanic males; and more gang/drug-associated homicides.

Similarly, the ease of online shopping through the Internet has caused brick and mortar retailers to respond to the shrinking of their "physical" marketplace, see, e.g.,

1 comment:

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