Date of Award

Fall 2022

Degree Type

Restricted to Claremont Colleges Dissertation

Degree Name

Economics, PhD


School of Social Science, Politics, and Evaluation

Advisor/Supervisor/Committee Chair

Gregory DeAngelo

Dissertation or Thesis Committee Member

Scott Cunningham

Dissertation or Thesis Committee Member

Melissa Rogers

Dissertation or Thesis Committee Member

Matthew Ross

Terms of Use & License Information

Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License.

Rights Information

© 2022 Uyen M Le


COVID, Craigslist, Crime, Domestic Violence, Public Safety, Suicide

Subject Categories



Public safety is one of many measures that reflect the development of a nation. It is important to analyze and identify the cause of criminal activities that disturb public safety. Some of the causes are the unintended consequences arisen from public policies and the structure of the market. The chapters of my dissertation focus on the causal mechanism of the three important aspects of public safety: crime, domestic violence, and suicide. In the first chapter, I examine the unintended consequences of centralized online marketplace on petty theft. Market centralization has been shown to improve market efficiency and stability. But, centralized markets have had a considerable impact on market exchanges that could result in non-violent criminal behavior. Using crime data from 1991 to 2014, I examine the effect of Craigslist - a locally centralized online marketplace - on bike theft. In addition, since Craigslist became available in each location at different time periods, the introduction of Craigslist yields heterogeneous treatment effects across groups of locations based on the year of entry. I exploit the semi-parametric differential-timing difference-in-differences method introduced by Callaway and Sant'Anna (2020) to estimate the Craigslist effect. I also decompose the ordinary difference-in-differences with two-way-fixed-effect estimates using Goodman-Bacon (2021) decomposition to show that these estimates are biased. I find that bike theft increased about 11% in Craigslist's service areas compared to non-service areas, while other types of property and violent crime are not affected by the entry of Craigslist. In the second chapter, my co-authors and I examine the impact of three pandemic safeguards which are shelter-in-place, school and daycare closure orders on household violence. There is considerable variation in the data samples used in previous work, which include geographic units included in the analysis and time frames studied. In this work, we include the most comprehensive data set from the United States, which includes data from 30 jurisdictions across 18 states, to examine the effect of COVID-19 related orders on household violence to ensure that our conclusions are not reached due data selection issues. We also improve on previous analyses by utilizing the decomposition in Goodman-Bacon (2021) and the estimator in Callaway and Sant'Anna (2020) to account for the differential timing in the implementation of COVID-19 related orders. Our analysis concludes that school closure significantly doubled the number of child abuse calls per day from the mean. However, daycare closure significantly reduced 1.2 calls child abuse calls per day. We detect no effect for shelter-in-place or daycare closure orders. We also document a reversal in the direction of our main coefficient estimates when using Callaway and Sant'Anna's estimator to measure the effect of daycare closure relative to two-way fixed effect. In the third chapter, my co-authors and I examine how the change in labor market structure affected suicide rate. Suicides present one of the most serious public health crises that the United States faces. Suicide contributes 1.7% of all deaths in the United State. Using U.S. data from 1990 to 2015, however, we show that suicide rates increased even in the regions that added a substantial number of jobs. In this research, we attempt to resolve this puzzle by focusing on the change in manufacturing share of employment, instead of job losses, to examine the impact of job mismatches on suicide. To insure we have uncovered the causal relationship between job mismatches and suicides, we utilize an instrumental variable strategy where we instrument the manufacturing share of employment with the exposure to the manufacturing shock created by the Permanent Normal Trade Relationship agreement with China. We refer to this as tariff gap. This research finds that regions experiencing a 10-percentage-point decrease in manufacturing share of employment leads to a 0.73 increase in deaths by suicide per 100,000 residents in working-age population, which is equivalent to 1,460 deaths for a working-age population of 200 million. The main effects of our analysis are largely driven from regions experiencing non-decreasing job prospects, but significant losses in manufacturing jobs.