The Impact of Macroeconomic Conditions on Property Crime
This paper examines the impact of inflation, (un)employment, and stock market growth on the rates of larceny, burglary, motor vehicle theft, and robbery. The study uses U.S. data for the time period 1948 to 2009. We employ an unobserved component approach to circumvent the problems associated with omitted variables. We find that the three macroeconomic variables have a statistically significant impact for most of the property crime rates. However, taken together the macroeconomic variables explain no more than 15 percent of the surge in property crimes from the 1960 to the 1980s and their subsequent fall during the 1990s. Among the macroeconomic variables, almost all of the explanatory power is provided by changes in the inflation rate.
|Date of creation:||Jun 2011|
|Date of revision:|
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NBER Working Papers
5268, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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- John M. Nunley & Richard Alan Seals & Joachim Zietz, 2010. "Demographic Change, Macroeconomic Conditions, and the Murder Rate: The Case of the United States, 1934 to 2006," Auburn Economics Working Paper Series auwp2010-04, Department of Economics, Auburn University.
- Tang, Chor Foon & Lean, Hooi Hooi, 2009. "New evidence from the misery index in the crime function," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 102(2), pages 112-115, February.
- 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.
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