Location

Jereld R. Nicholson Library

Subject Area

Economics

Description

This study estimates the economic factors that explain crime rates for robbery, burglary, and larceny in the United States from 2002 to 2009. A panel data set was used, covering 2002, and 2004 to 2009. Our explanatory variables were sorted into three categories: economic, deterrence, and demographic. Economic variables included unemployment and poverty rates. Deterrence variables included concealed carry weapons laws, preventative spending, and incarceration rates. Demographic variables included the urbanization rate, the dropout rate, the young male population (15-24), as well as the racial composition of the population. Our results varied across the three crime types, becoming less significant as the violence of the observed crime increased. Our results indicate that econometric models have difficulty predicting and explaining crime rates. This may be due to the fact that rational economic calculation is not a primary determinant of crime.

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An Economic Analysis of Crime

Jereld R. Nicholson Library

This study estimates the economic factors that explain crime rates for robbery, burglary, and larceny in the United States from 2002 to 2009. A panel data set was used, covering 2002, and 2004 to 2009. Our explanatory variables were sorted into three categories: economic, deterrence, and demographic. Economic variables included unemployment and poverty rates. Deterrence variables included concealed carry weapons laws, preventative spending, and incarceration rates. Demographic variables included the urbanization rate, the dropout rate, the young male population (15-24), as well as the racial composition of the population. Our results varied across the three crime types, becoming less significant as the violence of the observed crime increased. Our results indicate that econometric models have difficulty predicting and explaining crime rates. This may be due to the fact that rational economic calculation is not a primary determinant of crime.

 

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