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College Football Games and Crime

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Abstract

There is a great deal of anecdotal evidence that college football games can lead to aggressive and destructive behavior by fans. However, to date, no empirical study has attempted to document the magnitude of this phenomenon. We match daily data on offenses from the NIBRS to 26 Division I-A college football programs in order to estimate the relationship between college football games and crime. Our results suggest that the host community registers sharp increases in assaults, vandalism, arrests for disorderly conduct, and arrests for alcohol-related offenses on game days. Upsets are associated with the largest increases in the number of expected offenses. These estimates are discussed in the context of psychological theories of fan aggression.

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2008-01-01

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college football; crime; fans; aggression; violent behavior; empirical study

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Required Publisher Statement: Published by the Cornell Higher Education Research Institute, Cornell University.

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article

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