The Crime Rate and the Condition of the Labor Market: A Vector Autoregressive Model
Few empirical studies of the economics of crime have doubted the deterrent effects of the legal sanctions on crime. Those studies, however, have not established a definitive understanding of the effects of labor market conditions on crime. In this paper, we examine the impact of labor market conditions, represented by either male civilian unemployment or labor force participation rates, on seven major categories of crime, using the quarterly crime-rate data for the United States. Based on an analysis of the reported crime rates for murder, forcible rape, robbery, aggravated assault, burglary, larceny-theft, and motor vehicle theft during the period from the first quarter of 1970 through the fourth quarter of 1983, we reject the null hypothesis that labor market conditions have no effects on the crime rate. Rather, we find that the male civilian unemployment rates, especially the rate for those twenty-five years old and over, are strongly and positively associated with most of the crime rates studied. The male civilian labor force participation rates are also found to be related to the crime rates considered here. Youth labor force participation rates for both whites and non-whites, sixteen to nineteen years old, are more strongly associated with the examined crime rates than are the labor force participation rates for males, twenty years old and over.
|Date of creation:||Dec 1985|
|Contact details of provider:|| Postal: National Bureau of Economic Research, 1050 Massachusetts Avenue Cambridge, MA 02138, U.S.A.|
Web page: http://www.nber.org
More information through EDIRC
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:
- Richard B. Freeman, 1982. "Crime and the Labor Market," NBER Working Papers 1031, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Gary S. Becker, 1974.
"Crime and Punishment: An Economic Approach,"
NBER Chapters,in: Essays in the Economics of Crime and Punishment, pages 1-54
National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Gary S. Becker, 1968. "Crime and Punishment: An Economic Approach," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 76, pages 169-169.
- Robert B. Litterman, 1979. "Techniques of forecasting using vector autoregressions," Working Papers 115, Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis.
- Belton M. Fleisher, 1963. "The Effect of Unemployment on Juvenile Delinquency," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 71, pages 543-543.
- Sims, Christopher A, 1980. "Macroeconomics and Reality," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 48(1), pages 1-48, January.
- Ann Dryden Witte, 1980. "Estimating the Economic Model of Crime With Individual Data," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 94(1), pages 57-84.
- Robert J. Gordon & Stephen R. King, 1982. "The Output Cost of Disinflation in Traditional and Vector Autoregressive Models," Brookings Papers on Economic Activity, Economic Studies Program, The Brookings Institution, vol. 13(1), pages 205-244.
- 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.
- Hoenack, Stephen A & Weiler, William C, 1980. "A Structural Model of Murder Behavior and the Criminal Justice System," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 70(3), pages 327-341, June.
- Sjoquist, David Lawrence, 1973. "Property Crime and Economic Behavior: Some Empirical Results," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 63(3), pages 439-446, June.
- Weicher, John C, 1970. "The Effect of Income on Delinquency: Comment," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 60(1), pages 249-256, March.
- Ehrlich, Isaac, 1975. "The Deterrent Effect of Capital Punishment: A Question of Life and Death," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 65(3), pages 397-417, June.
- Isaac Ehrlich, 1973. "The Deterrent Effect of Capital Punishment: A Question of Life and Death," NBER Working Papers 0018, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Hoch, Irving, 1974. "Factors in urban crime," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 1(2), pages 184-229, April.
- Samuel L. Myers, 1983. "Estimating the Economic Model of Crime: Employment Versus Punishment Effects," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 98(1), pages 157-166.
- McPheters, Lee R & Mann, Robert & Schlagenhauf, Don, 1984. "Economic Response to a Crime Deterrence Program: Mandatory Sentencing for Robbery with a Firearm," Economic Inquiry, Western Economic Association International, vol. 22(4), pages 550-570, October.
- Granger, C W J, 1969. "Investigating Causal Relations by Econometric Models and Cross-Spectral Methods," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 37(3), pages 424-438, July.
- Thomas F. Pogue, 1975. "Effect of Police Expenditures on Crime Rates: Some Evidence," Public Finance Review, , vol. 3(1), pages 14-44, January.
- Block, M K & Heineke, J M, 1975. "A Labor Theoretic Analysis of the Criminal Choice," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 65(3), pages 314-325, June.
- 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.
- Phillips, Llad, et al, 1972. "Crime, Youth, and the Labor Market," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 80(3), pages 491-504, May-June. Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)
When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:1782. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.
For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: ()
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.