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Revisting Property Crime and Economic Conditions: An Exploratory Study to Identify Predictive Indicators beyond Unemployment Rates

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Author Info

  • Yearwood, Douglas L.
  • Koinis, Gerry

Abstract

Numerous researchers have questioned the use of the unemployment rate as an explanatory factor in econometric studies which address the relationship between the economy and crime. This paper presents the findings from an exploratory study which sought to test the efficacy of the unemployment rate for predicting reported property crime rates and to identify other economic indicators which may also prove to be useful for predicting crimes with economic under tones or motives. Specifically, larceny-theft, burglary, motor vehicle theft, robbery, fraud and embezzlement. Given the exploratory nature of the study seven stepwise regressions were computed with unemployment only emerging as a significant predictor for one of the criminal offenses. Findings identified other useful economic variables, such as average wage and salary disbursements, supplemental security income receipts, the consumer price index and per capita personal income which should be considered in lieu of unemployment rates.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by University Library of Munich, Germany in its series MPRA Paper with number 16834.

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Date of creation: 24 Jun 2009
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Handle: RePEc:pra:mprapa:16834

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Keywords: Property crime; economy; unemployment rate;

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References

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  1. Jeff Grogger, 1997. "Market Wages and Youth Crime," NBER Working Papers 5983, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  2. Stephen Machin & Costas Meghir, 2004. "Crime and Economic Incentives," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 39(4).
  3. Raphael, Steven & Winter-Ember, Rudolf, 2001. "Identifying the Effect of Unemployment on Crime," Journal of Law and Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 44(1), pages 259-83, April.
  4. Ehrlich, Isaac, 1973. "Participation in Illegitimate Activities: A Theoretical and Empirical Investigation," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 81(3), pages 521-65, May-June.
  5. Garett Jones & Ali Kutan, 2004. "Volatile Interest Rates, Volatile Crime Rates: A new argument for interest-rate smoothing," William Davidson Institute Working Papers Series 2004-694, William Davidson Institute at the University of Michigan.
  6. Gary S. Becker, 1974. "Crime and Punishment: An Economic Approach," NBER Chapters, in: Essays in the Economics of Crime and Punishment, pages 1-54 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  7. Fajnzylber, Pablo & Lederman, Daniel & Loayza, Norman, 2002. "What causes violent crime?," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 46(7), pages 1323-1357, July.
  8. R. Alan Seals & John Nunley, 2007. "The Effects of Inflation and Demographic Change on Property Crime: A Structural Time-Series Approach," Working Papers 200701, Middle Tennessee State University, Department of Economics and Finance.
  9. Anna Öster & Jonas Agell, 2007. "Crime and Unemployment in Turbulent Times," Journal of the European Economic Association, MIT Press, vol. 5(4), pages 752-775, 06.
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Cited by:
  1. Meloni, Osvaldo, 2012. "Does poverty relief spending reduce crime? Evidence from Argentina," MPRA Paper 40176, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  2. Sieger, Philip, 2013. "Job Losses and Criminal Gains: Analyzing the Effect of Unemployment on Criminal Activity," Annual Conference 2013 (Duesseldorf): Competition Policy and Regulation in a Global Economic Order 79929, Verein für Socialpolitik / German Economic Association.

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