Working papers

Youth clubs are after-school programs, typically offered free of charge in underprivileged neighbourhoods. While they might impact people’s lives in many aspects, their public provision is often justified by their perceived role in preventing crime, despite the lack of evidence on their effectiveness. I provide the first causal estimates of this relationship. I leverage quasi-experimental variation from austerity-related cuts which led to the closure of 30% of the youth clubs that were open as of 2010 in London. Using difference-in-differences research designs I compare residents of areas near closed clubs to residents of areas where clubs remained open. People aged 10-18 affected by closures become more likely to commit crimes, by 15%. These crime rises are not explained by changes in policing intensity, nor by general austerity. Instead, these programs have a crime-reducing effect beyond short-term incapacitation.

Runner up for Best Paper at Royal Economic Society PhD Conference 2023

Media: VoxEU

Other Impact: National Youth Agency, Schoolsweek, UK Parliament-HansardUK Parliament TV (minutes 10.03.15, and 10.33.50) 

with Jorge Garcia-Hombrados and Marta Martinez-Matute  -  R&R Journal of Public Economics

This paper assesses the effect of the creation of specialised intimate partner violence (IPV) courts on the reporting of IPV, and the incidence of IPV homicides in Spain. We find that the opening of a specialised IPV court increases the reporting of IPV by nearly 122 offences per 100,000 inhabitants, or 28% in the preferred specification. The rise in reporting is primarily driven by an increase in the reporting of less severe offences. We do not find conclusive evidence on the effects of specialised courts on IPV homicides.

with Richard Disney, Tom Kirchmaier and Stephen Machin

We analyse the spatial distribution of local street gangs operating in London in the 1990-2015 period, focusing on how housing characteristics determine gang presence. High-rise public housing estates built in the post-World War II period are more likely to become gang turfs than areas with low-rise social housing or no social housing. To resolve any potential reverse causality between the socio-economic characteristics of gang areas and the presence of public housing, for instance, if high rise social housing was constructed in areas with higher criminality, the London bombing Blitz of 1940-41 is utilised as a shock to urban development. Bomb damage led to the construction of high-rise post-war public housing and, therefore, the formation of gangs in the later period. We then show that gang presence is correlated with higher incidence of knife crimes with injury and higher incidence of youth crimes.

Media: BBC World News (TV), LSE IQ, The Economist, Nada Es Gratis

Other Impact: Behavioural Insights, UK Parliament, Mayor of London, Action on Armed Violence

Work in Progress 


Media: The Times, BBC Radio 4

Media: CentrePiece, The Guardian, The Mill, Economics Observatory