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The Impact of Macroeconomic Conditions on Property Crime

Author

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  • John M. Nunley
  • Richard Alan Seals Jr.
  • Joachim Zietz

Abstract

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.

Suggested Citation

  • John M. Nunley & Richard Alan Seals Jr. & Joachim Zietz, 2011. "The Impact of Macroeconomic Conditions on Property Crime," Auburn Economics Working Paper Series auwp2011-06, Department of Economics, Auburn University.
  • Handle: RePEc:abn:wpaper:auwp2011-06
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    File URL: http://cla.auburn.edu/econwp/Archives/2011/2011-06.pdf
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Morgan Kelly, 2000. "Inequality And Crime," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 82(4), pages 530-539, November.
    2. Corman, Hope & Joyce, Theodore & Lovitch, Norman, 1987. "Crime, Deterrence and the Business Cycle in New York City: A VAR Approach," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 69(4), pages 695-700, November.
    3. Eric D. Gould & Bruce A. Weinberg & David B. Mustard, 2002. "Crime Rates And Local Labor Market Opportunities In The United States: 1979-1997," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 84(1), pages 45-61, February.
    4. 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.
    5. Levitt, Steven D, 1998. "Why Do Increased Arrest Rates Appear to Reduce Crime: Deterrence, Incapacitation, or Measurement Error?," Economic Inquiry, Western Economic Association International, vol. 36(3), pages 353-372, July.
    6. Ehrlich, Isaac, 1973. "Participation in Illegitimate Activities: A Theoretical and Empirical Investigation," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 81(3), pages 521-565, May-June.
    7. Commandeur, Jacques J.F. & Koopman, Siem Jan, 2007. "An Introduction to State Space Time Series Analysis," OUP Catalogue, Oxford University Press, number 9780199228874.
    8. 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.
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    Cited by:

    1. repec:spr:soinre:v:133:y:2017:i:1:d:10.1007_s11205-016-1348-8 is not listed on IDEAS
    2. Vujić Sunčica & Koopman Siem Jan & Commandeur J.F., 2012. "Economic Trends and Cycles in Crime: A Study for England and Wales," Journal of Economics and Statistics (Jahrbuecher fuer Nationaloekonomie und Statistik), De Gruyter, vol. 232(6), pages 652-677, December.
    3. Vujić, Sunčica & Commandeur, Jacques J.F. & Koopman, Siem Jan, 2016. "Intervention time series analysis of crime rates: The case of sentence reform in Virginia," Economic Modelling, Elsevier, vol. 57(C), pages 311-323.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Murder Rate; Demographic Change; Age Composition; Crime; Misery Index;

    JEL classification:

    • J10 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - General
    • J11 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Demographic Trends, Macroeconomic Effects, and Forecasts

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