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Are Crime Rates Really Stationary?

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  • Westerlund, Joakim

    () (Department of Economics, School of Business, Economics and Law, Göteborg University)

  • Blomquist, Johan

    (Lund University)

Abstract

Many empirical studies of the economics of crime focus solely on the determinants thereof, and do not consider the dynamic and cross-sectional properties of their data. As a response to this, the current paper offers an in-depth analysis of this issue using data covering 21 Swedish counties from 1975 to 2008. The results suggest that the four crime types considered are non-stationary, and that this cannot be attributed to county specific disparities, but rather that it is due to a small number of common stochastic trends to which clubs of counties tend to revert. The results further suggest that these trends can be given an macroeconomic interpretation. These findings are consistent with recent theoretical models predicting that crime should be dependent across both time and counties.

Suggested Citation

  • Westerlund, Joakim & Blomquist, Johan, 2009. "Are Crime Rates Really Stationary?," Working Papers in Economics 381, University of Gothenburg, Department of Economics.
  • Handle: RePEc:hhs:gunwpe:0381
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    File URL: http://hdl.handle.net/2077/21051
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Crime; Non-stationary data; Panel unit root tests; Common factor;

    JEL classification:

    • C32 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Multiple or Simultaneous Equation Models; Multiple Variables - - - Time-Series Models; Dynamic Quantile Regressions; Dynamic Treatment Effect Models; Diffusion Processes; State Space Models
    • C33 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Multiple or Simultaneous Equation Models; Multiple Variables - - - Models with Panel Data; Spatio-temporal Models
    • E20 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Consumption, Saving, Production, Employment, and Investment - - - General (includes Measurement and Data)
    • K40 - Law and Economics - - Legal Procedure, the Legal System, and Illegal Behavior - - - General

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