Sunday, October 12, 2008

"Times" on question: do recessions spur crime?

The New York Times Friday ran a story, "Keeping Wary Eye on Crime as Economy Sinks."
If the city’s economy sinks to depths not seen in decades, will crime return with a vengeance?

Expert opinions differ, but the question is hardly illogical. The last time stocks on Wall Street fell hard, in 1987, crime was exploding, and the city saw historic highs in murders in the following years.

Some of the experts interviewed for the article cite a recession-crime connection:
“Every recession since the late ’50s has been associated with an increase in crime and, in particular, property crime and robbery, which would be most responsive to changes in economic conditions,” said Richard Rosenfeld, a sociologist at the University of Missouri-St. Louis. Typically, he said, “there is a year lag between the economic change and crime rates.”

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