Why Do Some Crimes Increase When Airbnbs Come to Town?

Tourists neither commit nor attract crimes. But a study finds that violent offenses rose in neighborhoods where more homes were converted to short-term rentals.

The presence of more Airbnbs in a neighborhood may be linked to more crime—but not in the way you might think.

Researchers from Northeastern University reviewed data in Boston from 2011 to 2018, a period of both sustained growth in Airbnb listings and growing concerns about crime. They found that certain violent crimes—fights, robberies, reports of someone wielding a knife—tended to increase in a neighborhood a year or more after the number of Airbnbs increased—a sign, the researchers said, of a fraying social order.

“You’re essentially eroding a

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