Climate, crime, and suicide: Empirical evidence from Japan

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    The relationship between climate change and violent behavior has been well documented in previous studies. Violence has two dimensions: Outward violence (i.e., crime) and inward violence (i.e., suicide). To our knowledge, rigorous empirical studies have not been performed to investigate how climate change affects both criminal and suicidal behavior. This study aims to estimate the effects of climate change on crime and suicide in Japan by using prefecture-level monthly panel data on climate, crime, and suicide between 2009 and 2015. Even after controlling for prefecture, yearly, and monthly effects, we found that many climate factors affected both crime and suicide in Japan. In particular, more aggressive behavior and an increased number of suicides were observed when the average temperature increased. Furthermore, we predicted how changes in the climate of Japan will affect future patterns of criminal and suicidal behavior based on two climate change scenarios.

    Original languageEnglish
    Article number1750003
    JournalClimate Change Economics
    Issue number1
    Publication statusPublished - 2017 Feb 1


    • Climate change
    • crime
    • suicide
    • violence

    ASJC Scopus subject areas

    • Global and Planetary Change
    • Economics and Econometrics
    • Management, Monitoring, Policy and Law

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