Matthew Ranson in JEEM:
This paper estimates the impact of climate change on the prevalence of criminal activity in the United States. The analysis is based on a 30-year panel of monthly crime and weather data for 2997 US counties. I identify the effect of weather on monthly crime by using a semi-parametric bin estimator and controlling for state-by-month and county-by-year fixed effects. The results show that temperature has a strong positive effect on criminal behavior, with little evidence of lagged impacts. Between 2010 and 2099, climate change will cause an additional 22,000 murders, 180,000 cases of rape, 1.2 million aggravated assaults, 2.3 million simple assaults, 260,000 robberies, 1.3 million burglaries, 2.2 million cases of larceny, and 580,000 cases of vehicle theft in the United States.
Too bad the abstract didn't include information on the costs. Here is an excerpt from later in the paper:
Because these offenses occur over a 90 year time period and include a variety of types of crimes, it is useful to aggregate them into a social cost metric. I characterize the potential range of social costs using the following per-offense costs: $5 million for murder and manslaughter; $237,000 for rape; $70,000 for aggravated assault; $17,500 for simple assault; $21,000 for robbery; $25,000 for burglary, $3500 for larceny; and $11,000 for motor vehicle theft. These valuations are drawn from Cohen et al. (2004), McCollister et al. (2010) and Viscusi and Aldy (2003).11 Given the considerably uncertainty about how to value criminal offenses, I emphasize that the calculations presented here are intended to provide only a “back-of-the-envelope” estimate of the rough magnitude of the social costs of future climate-related crime.
Based on these per-offense valuations, the right-hand side of Table 3 shows estimates of the social cost of the climate-related crime that is likely to occur between 2010 and 2099. Including all offenses, the social costs of climate-related crime are between $38 billion and $115 billion (based on a 3% discount rate). Most of these costs are driven by increases in violent crimes, particularly murder and aggravated assault. Consistent with previous research (Weitzman, 2007), the costs are sensitive to the choice of a discount rate, with point estimates of $78 billion based on a 3% discount rate and $29 billion based on a 6% discount rate.