Community and the Crime
Decline: The Causal Effect
of Local Nonprofits on
Violent Crime

Patrick Sharkey, Gerard Torrats-Espinosa,
and Delaram Takyara


In this article, the authors incorporate the “systemic” model of community life into debates on the U.S. crime drop, and focus on the role that local nonprofit organizations played in the national decline of violence from the 1990s to the 2010s. Using
longitudinal data and a strategy to account for the endogeneity of nonprofit formation, they estimate the causal effect on violent crime of nonprofits focused on reducing violence and building stronger communities.


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