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Four factors that explain both the rise and fall of US crime, 1970-2003

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  • Gary Shoesmith

Abstract

Previous research has failed to explain the rise and fall of US crime since 1970. This study uses cointegration, error correction and common long-memory components analyses to demonstrate that four basic crime factors explaining both the increases in US violent and property crime between 1970 and 1991 and the dramatic declines in crime after 1991. The four factors include arrest rates, income per capita, the proportion of criminal-justice resources devoted to drug crime and alcohol consumption. Error correction models and common long-memory factors show an especially close link between crime rates and the percentage of prison resources devoted to drug offenders. Similar factors result in cointegrated models for murder, rape, robbery, assault and larceny. Additional modelling shows that effective abortion rates computed along the lines of Donohue and Levitt (2001) do not help in explaining the rise and fall of US crime.

Suggested Citation

  • Gary Shoesmith, 2010. "Four factors that explain both the rise and fall of US crime, 1970-2003," Applied Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 42(23), pages 2957-2973.
  • Handle: RePEc:taf:applec:v:42:y:2010:i:23:p:2957-2973 DOI: 10.1080/00036840801964765
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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".
    2. 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.
    3. Ferda Halicioglu, 2012. "Temporal causality and the dynamics of crime in Turkey," International Journal of Social Economics, Emerald Group Publishing, vol. 39(9), pages 704-720, July.
    4. Alexander F. McQuoid & J. Britton Haynes Jr., 2017. "The Thin (Red) Blue Line: Police Militarization and Violent Crime," Departmental Working Papers 56, United States Naval Academy Department of Economics.

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