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Breaks and Convergence in U.S. Regional Crime Rates: Analysis of Their Presence and Implications


  • Steve Cook

    () (School of Management, Swansea University, Singleton Park, Swansea SA2 8PP, UK)

  • Duncan Watson

    (School of Economics, University of East Anglia, Norwich NR4 7TJ, UK)


The literature examining the relative properties of U.S. regional crime rates is extended. Using a novel method, convergence in alternative classifications of crime is detected over the period 1965 to 2009. Subsequent statistical analysis identifies distinct epochs in the evolution of crime which match those noted anecdotally in the literature. The findings concerning convergence within these epochs prove interesting, with results found to vary both between the alternative crime classifications and through time. In particular, evidence of divergence is noted which contrasts starkly with other results for earlier and later periods. Potential explanations for the observed results, their importance for policy and their implications for theory and future research are discussed.

Suggested Citation

  • Steve Cook & Duncan Watson, 2013. "Breaks and Convergence in U.S. Regional Crime Rates: Analysis of Their Presence and Implications," Social Sciences, MDPI, Open Access Journal, vol. 2(3), pages 1-11, August.
  • Handle: RePEc:gam:jscscx:v:2:y:2013:i:3:p:180-190:d:28208

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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. Alessandro Moro, 2016. "Distribution Dynamics of Property Crime Rates in the United States," Working Papers 2016:13, Department of Economics, University of Venice "Ca' Foscari".

    More about this item


    crime; convergence; breaks;

    JEL classification:

    • A - General Economics and Teaching
    • B - Schools of Economic Thought and Methodology
    • N - Economic History
    • P - Economic Systems
    • Y80 - Miscellaneous Categories - - Related Disciplines - - - Related Disciplines
    • Z00 - Other Special Topics - - General - - - General


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