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NCJ Number: 213380 Find in a Library
Title: Business Cycles and Street Crime
Journal: Criminology  Volume:44  Issue:1  Dated:February 2006  Pages:139-164
Author(s): Thomas M. Arvanites; Robert H. Defina
Date Published: February 2006
Page Count: 26
Type: Report (Study/Research)
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: This study investigated the hypothesis that an improving economy helped produce the declines in street crime witnessed during the 1990s.
Abstract: A central goal of the research was to test the hypothesis extended by Cantor and Land in 1985 that proposed a link between economic conditions and crime. Specifically, Cantor and Land (1985) claimed that a weaker economy would increase motivation to commit crime but would decrease criminal opportunities. These two impacts, however, were hypothesized to occur with different timing such that changes in criminal opportunity would appear immediately whereas changes in motivation to commit crime would occur later. Overall, the results provide clear support for the hypothesis that an improving economy has a significantly negative impact on all four index property crimes and robbery. The stronger economy of the 1990’s influenced the drastic reductions in street crimes during the same period. The findings support Cantor and Land’s (1985) proposition that changes in the economic conditions impact street crimes through their influence on the degree of social strain and social control. Data on property index crimes and violent crimes for each State were obtained from the Uniform Crime Reports for the period 1986 through 2000. Three control variables were added to the analysis: (1) percentage of the population aged 17 to 24 years; (2) percentage of the population that is nonwhite; and (3) previous year’s imprisonment rate. Data analysis involved calculating fixed-effects panel models for each index crime category. Figures, footnotes, references
Main Term(s): Arrest statistics; Minority overrepresentation
Index Term(s): Crack; Drug purchases; Police policies and procedures; Washington
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