Munich Personal RePEc Archive

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

Yearwood, Douglas L. and Koinis, Gerry (2009): Revisting Property Crime and Economic Conditions: An Exploratory Study to Identify Predictive Indicators beyond Unemployment Rates.

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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.

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