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Revisting Property Crime and Economic Conditions: An Exploratory Study to Identify Predictive Indicators beyond Unemployment Rates

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  • Yearwood, Douglas L.
  • Koinis, Gerry

Abstract

Numerous researchers have questioned the use of the unemployment rate as an explanatory factor in econometric studies which address the relationship between the economy and crime. This paper presents the findings from an exploratory study which sought to test the efficacy of the unemployment rate for predicting reported property crime rates and to identify other economic indicators which may also prove to be useful for predicting crimes with economic under tones or motives. Specifically, larceny-theft, burglary, motor vehicle theft, robbery, fraud and embezzlement. Given the exploratory nature of the study seven stepwise regressions were computed with unemployment only emerging as a significant predictor for one of the criminal offenses. Findings identified other useful economic variables, such as average wage and salary disbursements, supplemental security income receipts, the consumer price index and per capita personal income which should be considered in lieu of unemployment rates.

Suggested Citation

  • Yearwood, Douglas L. & Koinis, Gerry, 2009. "Revisting Property Crime and Economic Conditions: An Exploratory Study to Identify Predictive Indicators beyond Unemployment Rates," MPRA Paper 16834, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  • Handle: RePEc:pra:mprapa:16834
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    File URL: https://mpra.ub.uni-muenchen.de/16834/1/MPRA_paper_16834.pdf
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Garett Jones & Ali Kutan, 2004. "Volatile Interest Rates, Volatile Crime Rates: A new argument for interest-rate smoothing," William Davidson Institute Working Papers Series 2004-694, William Davidson Institute at the University of Michigan.
    2. Raphael, Steven & Winter-Ember, Rudolf, 2001. "Identifying the Effect of Unemployment on Crime," Journal of Law and Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 44(1), pages 259-283, April.
    3. 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.
    4. Fajnzylber, Pablo & Lederman, Daniel & Loayza, Norman, 2002. "What causes violent crime?," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 46(7), pages 1323-1357, July.
    5. R. Alan Seals & John Nunley, 2007. "The Effects of Inflation and Demographic Change on Property Crime: A Structural Time-Series Approach," Working Papers 200701, Middle Tennessee State University, Department of Economics and Finance.
    6. Mirko Draca & Stephen Machin, 2015. "Crime and Economic Incentives," Annual Review of Economics, Annual Reviews, vol. 7(1), pages 389-408, August.
    7. Grogger, Jeff, 1998. "Market Wages and Youth Crime," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 16(4), pages 756-791, October.
    8. 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.
    9. Anna Öster & Jonas Agell, 2007. "Crime and Unemployment in Turbulent Times," Journal of the European Economic Association, MIT Press, vol. 5(4), pages 752-775, June.
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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Sieger, Philip, 2013. "Job Losses and Criminal Gains: Analyzing the Effect of Unemployment on Criminal Activity," Annual Conference 2013 (Duesseldorf): Competition Policy and Regulation in a Global Economic Order 79929, Verein für Socialpolitik / German Economic Association.
    2. Entorf, Horst & Sieger, Philip, 2014. "Does the Link between Unemployment and Crime Depend on the Crime Level? A Quantile Regression Approach," IZA Discussion Papers 8334, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    3. Meloni, Osvaldo, 2014. "Does poverty relief spending reduce crime? Evidence from Argentina," International Review of Law and Economics, Elsevier, vol. 39(C), pages 28-38.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Property crime; economy; unemployment rate;

    JEL classification:

    • C30 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Multiple or Simultaneous Equation Models; Multiple Variables - - - General
    • K14 - Law and Economics - - Basic Areas of Law - - - Criminal Law

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