【Seminar 380预告】Wang-Sheng Lee(莫纳什大学)

摘要题目:Religiosity and Crime: Evidence from Pope Francis’s Visit to Philadelphia

题目:Religiosity and Crime: Evidence from Pope Francis’s Visit to Philadelphia

主讲人:Wang-Sheng Lee,莫纳什大学




Wang-Sheng Lee is an associate professor at the Centre for Development Economics and Sustainability (CDES) at Monash University. His research interests include applied micro-econometrics, development economics, environmental pollution, health and labor economics, and the Chinese economy. He has published papers in journals such as the Journal of Development Economics, Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Journal of Health Economics, Demography, Economics and Human Biology, Economics Letters, Empirical Economics, Health Economics, Industrial and Labor Relations Review, Journal of Economic Behavior and Organization, Journal of Economic Psychology, Journal of Population Economics, and Oxford Economic Papers. He received the 2012/2013 Lawrence R. Klein Award from Empirical Economics, a biannual prize awarded for the best paper published in the journal.


This paper examines the impact of the visit of Pope Francis to Philadelphia in September 2015 which generated a city-wide shock to religious sentiments. During his visit, the Pope visited a correctional facility and directly engaged with inmates, encouraging them to explore new life paths. With a 90% favorable rating among American Catholics and a wide appeal among non-religious individuals, the Papal visit provides a unique opportunity to explore whether it resulted in reduced criminal activity in Philadelphia. Additionally, we compare the impact of the Papal visit to President Obama's July 2015 visit to the city, where he presented a plan for criminal justice reform during his address to the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP). Based on crime data on all reported offences to the Philadelphia police department between 2010-2015, our research provides insights into the effects of positive messages and religious influences on crime rates in a large metropolitan city, with implications for policy makers seeking to shape social behavior.