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Asymmetric Crime Cycles

Author

Listed:
  • H. Naci Mocan
  • Turan G. Bali

Abstract

Recent theoretical models based on dynamic human capital formation, or social influence, suggest an inverse relationship between criminal activity and economic opportunity and between criminal activity and deterrence, but predict an asymmetric response of crime. In this paper we use three different data sets and three different empirical methodologies to document this previously-unnoticed regularity. Using nonparametric methods we show that the behavior of property crime is asymmetric over time, where increases are sharper but decreases are gradual. Using aggregate time-series U.S. data as well as data from New York City we demonstrate that property crime reacts more (less) strongly to increases (decreases) in the unemployment rate, to decreases (increases) in per capita real GDP and to decreases (increases) in the police force. The same result is obtained between unemployment and property crime in annual state-level panel data. These results suggest that it may be cost effective to implement mechanisms to prevent crime commission rates from rising in the first place.

Suggested Citation

  • H. Naci Mocan & Turan G. Bali, 2005. "Asymmetric Crime Cycles," NBER Working Papers 11210, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  • Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:11210
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    Cited by:

    1. Brushwood, James & Dhaliwal, Dan & Fairhurst, Douglas & Serfling, Matthew, 2016. "Property crime, earnings variability, and the cost of capital," Journal of Corporate Finance, Elsevier, vol. 40(C), pages 142-173.
    2. Naci H. Mocan & Samantha Bielen & Wim Marneffe, 2018. "Quality of Judicial Institutions, Crimes, Misdemeanors, and Dishonesty," NBER Working Papers 24396, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    3. Ben Vollaard, 2013. "Preventing crime through selective incapacitation," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 123(567), pages 262-284, March.
    4. Laliotis, Ioannis & Stavropoulou, Charitini, 2017. "Crises and mortality: Does the level of unemployment matter?," MPRA Paper 77873, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    5. Vincent Bignon & Eve Caroli & Roberto Galbiati, 2011. "Stealing to Survive: Crime and Income Shocks in 19th Century France," PSE Working Papers halshs-00623804, HAL.
    6. repec:rjr:romjef:v::y:2018:i:1:p:140-156 is not listed on IDEAS
    7. José Caraballo-Cueto, 2015. "Socioeconomic Determinants of the Changes in Homicides over Time: A VAR Analysis," International Journal of Business and Economic Sciences Applied Research (IJBESAR), Eastern Macedonia and Thrace Institute of Technology (EMATTECH), Kavala, Greece, vol. 8(2), pages 119-132, October.
    8. Reiling, Rune Borgan, 2016. "Does size matter? Educational attainment and cohort size," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 94(C), pages 73-89.
    9. Venke Furre Haaland & Kjetil Telle, 2013. "Pro-cyclical mortality. Evidence from Norway," Discussion Papers 766, Statistics Norway, Research Department.
    10. H. Naci Mocan & Stephen C. Billups & Jody Overland, 2005. "A Dynamic Model of Differential Human Capital and Criminal Activity," Economica, London School of Economics and Political Science, vol. 72(288), pages 655-681, November.
    11. repec:dau:papers:123456789/7249 is not listed on IDEAS
    12. Richard T. Boylan & Naci H. Mocan, 2009. "Intended and Unintended Consequences of Prison Reform," NBER Working Papers 15535, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    13. Sanna Huikari & Marko Korhonen, 2016. "The Impact of Unemployment on Well-Being: Evidence from the Regional Level Suicide Data in Finland," Social Indicators Research: An International and Interdisciplinary Journal for Quality-of-Life Measurement, Springer, vol. 128(3), pages 1103-1119, September.
    14. repec:eee:ecolet:v:163:y:2018:i:c:p:114-117 is not listed on IDEAS
    15. Jason M. Lindo & Charles Stoecker, 2014. "Drawn Into Violence: Evidence On “What Makes A Criminal” From The Vietnam Draft Lotteries," Economic Inquiry, Western Economic Association International, vol. 52(1), pages 239-258, January.
    16. 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.
    17. Carpenter, Christopher S. & McClellan, Chandler B. & Rees, Daniel I., 2017. "Economic conditions, illicit drug use, and substance use disorders in the United States," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 52(C), pages 63-73.
    18. Julie L. Hotchkiss & John C. Robertson, 2012. "Asymmetric labour force participation decisions," Applied Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 44(16), pages 2065-2073, June.
    19. repec:eee:ecosys:v:41:y:2017:i:2:p:266-278 is not listed on IDEAS
    20. Julie L. Hotchkiss & John C. Robertson, 2006. "Asymmetric labor force participation decisions over the business cycle: evidence from U.S. microdata," FRB Atlanta Working Paper 2006-08, Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta.
    21. Meloni, Osvaldo, 2012. "Is there an electoral-motivated crime rate cycle? Evidence from Argentina," MPRA Paper 40177, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    22. Thomas A. Garrett & Lesli S. Ott, 2008. "City business cycles and crime," Working Papers 2008-026, Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis.
    23. Pernille Parmer, 2014. "Natural Rerources and public Sector Wages," Working Paper Series 16114, Department of Economics, Norwegian University of Science and Technology.
    24. Jablonski, Ryan S. & Oliver, Steven, 2013. "The political economy of plunder: economic opportunity and modern piracy," LSE Research Online Documents on Economics 50451, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library.
    25. Sourav Batabyal, 2011. "Temporal Causality and the Dynamics of Crime and Delinquency," Atlantic Economic Journal, Springer;International Atlantic Economic Society, vol. 39(4), pages 421-441, December.

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • K4 - Law and Economics - - Legal Procedure, the Legal System, and Illegal Behavior

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