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The effects of hosting Airbnbs on local crime

Sunil Wattal finds that when local city ordinances restrict who is eligible to host an Airbnb, both the number of Airbnb listings and the overall crime rate decrease. But a deeper dive into the data suggests that the impacts of Airbnbs are not so simple.

The impact of Airbnbs on crime depends on the type of offense in question. While rates of assault, robbery and burglary went down following eligibility restrictions, rates of theft went up. 

Furthermore, Airbnbs have different impacts on crime depending on the neighborhood. In wealthier neighborhoods, decreasing the number of Airbnbs reduced crime. However, in poorer neighborhoods, fewer Airbnbs resulted in increased crime.