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NCJ Number: 203617 Find in a Library
Title: Explaining Variation in Crime Victimization Across Nations and Within Nations
Journal: International Criminal Justice Review  Volume:13  Dated:2003  Pages:76-89
Author(s): Jerome L. Neapolitan
Date Published: 2003
Page Count: 14
Type: Report (Study/Research)
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: This article reports on research that has used the International Crime Victimization Surveys (ICVS) data to examine the two major theoretical perspectives on cross-national crime variation, i.e. modernization and economic stress.
Abstract: Cross-national research on crime has been impeded by the lack of comparability of official crime data across nations; however, the United Nations Interregional Crime and Justice Research Institute (UNICRI) developed the ICVS to provide standardization across nations in obtaining victimization data. Not only are the same questions asked in each nation, but descriptions of crimes are used rather than labels such as "robbery." Thus, the ICVS avoids national variations in reporting, defining, or recording crimes. Thus far, ICVS sweeps have been conducted in 1989, 1992, 1996, and 2000. Although the ICVS response rates have varied across nations, analysis of victimization rates has shown no systematic association with variations in response rates. Apparently, there is only one published article that presents the results of multivariate analysis of these data (Mayhew and van Dijk, 1997). This study included only 26 nations, and no research could be found that analyzed victimization within nations. For the current cross-national analysis, each individual nation was viewed as a case. The analysis was based on a maximum of 98 cases and 57 nations, with the number of cases and nations varying somewhat by type of crime. The dependent variables were the percentages of respondents who were victimized in the preceding year for burglary, personal theft, robbery, assault, fraud, and sexual offenses. Fraud was not addressed in the first ICVS sweep. The degree of modernization and development was indicated by real gross domestic product per person in each nation (the average amount of output). Findings from the analysis indicated little support for the modernization perspective and only moderate support for the economic-stress perspective of crime causes. One surprising finding was a strong negative association between modernization and fraud victimizations. The proposition that the association of income level with victimization is dependent on the cultural context was moderately supported. Suggestions for future research are offered. 3 tables and 53 references
Main Term(s): Criminology
Index Term(s): Comparative analysis; Crime causes theory; Crime in foreign countries; Economic influences; International crime statistics; Urbanization; Victimization surveys
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