In this article, the author looks at some of the indirect effects caused by the rioting in Ferguson, Missouri after the jury's decision not to indict the police officer. He explains that the rioting has hurt the economy (both short-term and long-term) in Ferguson and other communities where rioting is taking place.

Are there actual numbers that support this conclusion? Also, can this conclusion be expanded to say that rioting impairs the economy?

  • $\begingroup$ I think this conclusion is not based on hard facts. You can also say, that rioting can have positive effects. If the society is better after a riot, than the economic growth will be higher on the long run. "Better society" to the fact, that the security system works more efficiently and the people don´t feel discriminated. 25 years ago in Eastern Europe the were riots, too. This riots had a positive effect on the economic growth. $\endgroup$ Commented Dec 30, 2014 at 17:38
  • $\begingroup$ Some things to consider about rioting is that most hazard insurance policies, residential and commercial both, have exclusions against riot damage. Financial impact against homeowners and business owners in the aftermath of a riot can be much more devastating than a natural disaster. Furthermore it is important to note that security industries might indirectly benefit from this as well as increased government spending in police and military to counter social upheaval. $\endgroup$ Commented Dec 30, 2014 at 18:25
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    $\begingroup$ It is precisely because I support this forum as a place to discuss serious economic ideas that it's important to weed out illegitimate sources of information. Just like "intelligent design" people are rightfully not taken seriously in discussions about evolution/science, neither are people who write articles like you referenced. It's okay not to know whether a source is legitimate. But I don't think it's okay to treat all sources/opinions (irrespective of evidence) as legitimate in this forum - that's not what the more quantitative forums of StackExchange are about at all. $\endgroup$
    – rocinante
    Commented Dec 31, 2014 at 4:10
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    $\begingroup$ @rocinante Also, why shouldn't we treat all opinions as legitimate? If the evidence is there to support it, then that view merits consideration. $\endgroup$ Commented Dec 31, 2014 at 4:22
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    $\begingroup$ Per StackExchange rules, the comments are not supposed to be for extensive discussion of this nature. That is what the chat room is for. $\endgroup$
    – rocinante
    Commented Dec 31, 2014 at 4:33

1 Answer 1


There are no numbers to support the problem specific to Ferguson because it happened recently, and not enough time has passed to assess any effect.

The inflammatory rhetoric of the site you linked to probably stems from this paper http://www.nber.org/papers/w10243 that tries to quantify the effects of the race riots in the 1960s. The authors themselves concede the speciousness of their conclusions by acknowledging that the data they used are not detailed enough to identify the precise mechanisms at work.

A more thorough study that examined the riots in India between the Hindus and Muslims concluded that the motivation for the riots was primarily economically based. Where there was economic growth, riots decreased. Moreover, rioting in one region had no effect on the rioting of neighboring regions. https://openknowledge.worldbank.com/handle/10986/5432


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