crime rate and casino
Econ Journal Watch,
Volume 5, Number 1,
January 2008, pp 4-20.
Do Casinos Really Cause Crime?
Douglas M. Walker1
A comment on: Earl L. Grinols and David B. Mustard, “Casinos, Crime, and
Community Costs,” The Review of Economics and Statistics 88(1), February
The Review of Economics and Statistics published “Casinos, Crime, and Community Costs” by Earl Grinols and David Mustard in February 2006. The authors claim that their analysis of casinos and crime is “the most exhaustive ever undertaken in terms of the number of regions examined, the years covered, and the control variables used” (43-44). The paper is a noteworthy contribution to the gambling literature. The scope of their analysis is impressive.
Since its publication the Grinols and Mustard paper has generated much discussion in the press, activist websites, policymaking discourse, and the gambling literature.2 Because the Grinols and Mustard paper is published in a refereed journal with high academic prestige, it is likely to be influential in subsequent research and political discussions of the casino-crime relationship.
The Grinols and Mustard analysis utilizes county level data on FBI Index I
1 Department of Economics and Finance, College of Charleston. Charleston, SC 29424.
I would like to thank— without implication—several people who made helpful comments and suggestions that improved this paper: Jay Albanese, Bill Eadington, David Forrest, Mark Nichols, Don Ross,
Richard Thalheimer, and especially John Jackson and Ben Scafidi. Several referees provided important comments and editorial suggestions.
2 For example, several newspaper reports have highlighted the Grinols and Mustard study (Morin
2006, Vitagliano 2006, Yarbrough 2006). In recent months the study was discussed in articles in Parade Magazine (Flynn 2007) and The Wall Street Journal (Whitehouse 2007). Policy
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