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NCJ Number: 193222 Find in a Library
Title: Conflict Theory, Economic Conditions, and Homicide: A Time-Series Analysis
Journal: Homicide Studies  Volume:6  Issue:1  Dated:February 2002  Pages:61-83
Author(s): Travis C. Pratt; Christopher T. Lowenkamp
Date Published: 2002
Page Count: 24
Type: Report (Study/Research)
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: This article uses a new measure of economic conditions, a composite measure of coincidental economic indicators, to examine its effect on national homicide rates.
Abstract: The conflict perspective in criminological theory has consistently held that in some form, economic conditions, most notably conditions of economic deprivation, are related to crime rates. Empirical support for this is inconsistent. The problem may be attributed to the inability of traditional measures of economic deprivation to fully capture the dynamics of a changing economic market. A time series of a composite of coincidental economic indicators (CCEI) was chosen as a measure of national economic conditions. This measure is a composite of four economic indicators that are related to changes in business cycles. These are the number of employees on nonagricultural payrolls, personal income, an index of industrial production, and measuring manufacturing and trade sales. The study used autoregressive integrated moving average (ARIMA) techniques to assess the relationship between economic conditions and crime. These data were produced monthly and covered the years from 1976 through 1994. The homicide time series were obtained from the Supplementary Homicide Reports from the Federal Bureau of Investigation’s Uniform Crime Reports. The time series for the CCEI was obtained from the United States Department of Commerce. Findings revealed considerable support for an inverse relationship between economic conditions and homicide rates. This was consistent with the tenets of conflict theory. Although changes in economic conditions significantly predicted levels of both total and acquaintance homicides, the effect was strongest in the model predicting instrumental homicides (felony murders). 3 tables, 10 notes, 95 references
Main Term(s): Economic influences; Poverty and crime
Index Term(s): Behavioral science research; Crime Causes; Environmental influences; Homicide causes; Indigents; Social conditions
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