Liberal versus conservative public policies on crime: What was the comparative track record during the 1990s?
The purpose of this study was to examine the efficacy of social control and social support policies associated with conservative and liberal political ideologies with respect to violent crime in large U.S. cities during the 1990s. Eighty-five cities with populations of 150,000+ were included in the analysis; these cities accounted for fifty-two million urban area residents of the U.S. The use of the two-way, fixed-effect panel data method of statistical analysis enabled the authors to assess the relationship between change in local government expenditures for police and court services (social control) and expenditures on community development and park/recreation (support policy) and corresponding changes in crime rates documented within these cities. The findings indicated that expenditure on both police services and community development initiatives had significantly suppressive effects on crime in these cities during the period of the 1990s. It appeared that both conservative and liberal policies had their merits as effective countermeasures to crime.
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