Social Change and Crime Rate Trends: A Routine Activity Approach

  title={Social Change and Crime Rate Trends: A Routine Activity Approach},
  author={Lawrence E. Cohen and Marcus Felson},
  journal={American Sociological Review},
In this paper we present a "routine activity approach" for analyzing crime rate trends and cycles. Rather than emphasizing the characteristics of offenders, with this approach we concentrate upon the circumstances in which they carry out predatory criminal acts. Most criminal acts require convergence in space and time of likely offenders, suitable targets and the absence of capable guardians against crime. Human ecological theory facilitates an investigation into the way in which social… 

Modeling Crime Trends: a Criminal Opportunity Perspective

A macrodynamic social indicator framework is used to demonstrate how accurate crime rate forecasts can be produced. Trends in reported robbery, burglary, larceny, and auto theft rates for the United

Inequality, Opportunity, and Crime Rates in Central Cities

* * * In a recent paper, Cohen and Felson argue that changes in our routine activities since World War 11 have contributed to the increase in predatory crime by creating additional opportunities for

Social Change and Crime Rates: An Evaluation of Alternative Theoretical Approaches

Two general theoretical perspectives, criminal opportunity and social disorganization, have been widely used to explain the level of crime in cities and temporal changes in their crime rates. Using a

Routine Activities Theory

Routine activities theory is an environmental, place-based explanation of crime, where the behavioral patterns and intersections of people in time and space influence when and where crimes occur.


Miethe et al. (1987) have suggested that there are strong interaction effects between demographic characteristics of victims and certain routine activities that occur at night and away from home, but

Urban Stratification of Places, Routine Activities and Suburban Crime Rates

Cohen and Felson's (1979) theory of "routine activities" is evaluated using 1972 and 1980 crime rate data for 676 American suburbs. Cross-sectional and change influences of criminal motivation

Social Structure and Swedish Crime Rates A Time‐Series Analysis, 1950‐1979

The present article tests Cohenetal 's recent opportunity theory of crime with time series data from Sweden. Swedish welfare capitalism is viewed, from an economic perspective on crime, as possibly

Risky lifestyles, routine activities, and the General Theory of Crime

Gottfredson and Hirschi's A General Theory of Crime proposes that low self-control is a cause of criminal behavior. Several recent studies, showing mixed support, test this theory for understanding

Crime drop in Ghana? Some insights from crime patterns and trends

  • M. Dziwornu
  • Law
    Crime Prevention and Community Safety
  • 2021
This study examines crime rate trends in Ghana in the context of research into the international crime drop. Ghanaian police-recorded crime data are imperfect, but crime rates appear to have

Juvenile Crime Trends in Post-War Europe

In the literature, two models - routine activity and social control - are most often used in attempts to account for a continuous upward trend in the number of juvenile offenders during the post-war



The Changing Structure of Property Crime in an Affluent Society

This study examines the relationship between two forms of property (cash and coin in banks and registered motor vehicles) and the amount of theft against that property for the years 1930 through

Age Composition and Patterns of Change in Criminal Statistics

Philip C. Sagi is Professor of Sociology and Co-Director of the Population Studies Center at the University of Pennsylvania and his continuing research activities have resulted in books and articles in the areas of demography, methodology and statistics.

The Illusion of Deterrence in Isaac Ehrlich's Research on Capital Punishment

In this critique of Professor Ehrlich's recent research on capital punishment,' we conclude that he has failed to provide any reliable evidence that the death penalty deters murder. His data are

Suicide: A Study in Sociology

Book I Extra-Social Factors 1.Suicide and Psychopathic States 2.Suicide and normal Psychological Sates-Race Heredity 3.Suicide and Cosmic Factors 4.Imitaion Book II Social Causes and Social Types

Crime Prevention Through Environmental Design

'The book is of value to those involved in the teaching and practive of criminology and to those in the fields of genetics, psychology, learning theory, environmental psychology, and urban design. It

On estimating the social costs of national economic policy: A critical examination of the Brenner study

This is a critique of Brenner's attempt to link morbidity and mortality to inflation, per capita income and unemployment. Several specific defects and recommendations are cited.


The paper compares the power of two tests for serial correlation in regression models with lagged dependent variables, recently suggested by Durbin, with that of the likelihood ratio test by means of

Application of Least Squares Regression to Relationships Containing Auto-Correlated Error Terms

Evidence is presented showing that the error terms involved in most current formulations of economic relations are highly positively autocorrelated and it is demonstrated that when estimates of autoregressive properties of error terms are based on calculated residuals there is a large bias towards randomness.