Understanding Why Crime Fell in the 1990s: Four Factors that Explain the Decline and Six that Do Not

@article{Levitt2004UnderstandingWC,
  title={Understanding Why Crime Fell in the 1990s: Four Factors that Explain the Decline and Six that Do Not},
  author={Steven D. Levitt},
  journal={Journal of Economic Perspectives},
  year={2004},
  volume={18},
  pages={163-190}
}
Crime fell sharply in the United States in the 1990s, in all categories of crime and all parts of the nation. Homicide rates plunged 43 percent from the peak in 1991 to 2001, reaching the lowest levels in 35 years. The Federal Bureau of Investigation’ s (FBI) violent and property crime indexes fell 34 and 29 percent, respectively, over that same period. These declines occurred essentially without warning: leading experts were predicting an explosion in crime in the early and mid-1990s… 

Figures and Tables from this paper

What Caused the Crime Decline?
What Caused the Crime Decline? Examines one of the nation’s least understood recent phenomena – the dramatic decline in crime nationwide over the past two decades – and analyzes various theories for
Reconsidering the Unusual Suspect: Immigration and the 1990s Crime Decline
The United States experienced a dramatic decline in crime during the 1990s. A number of explanations for this decline have been put forth, including demographic shifts, economic trends, stricter gun
The “Great American Crime Decline”: Possible Explanations
This chapter examines the key features of the crime decline in the United States during the 1990s–2010s but also takes a broader look at the violence declines globally. The author argues that violent
Exploring the international decline in crime rates
This paper examines aggregate crime trends and variation around them from 1988 to 2004 for 26 countries and five main crime types using data from the International Crime Victims Survey. Multilevel
The Crime Drop and Beyond
▪ Abstract Violent crime in the United States has traveled a striking path in the past 20 years, from a sharp spike in the late 1980s to a dramatic drop beginning around 1993 that lasted until a
Explaining the property crime drop: the offender perspective
Since 2001, there have been significant declines in property crime in Australia. Indeed, according to the Australian Bureau of Statistics' Recorded Crime-Victims data, between 2001 and 2009 motor
Why the Crime Drop?
The “crime drop” is the most important criminological phenomenon of modern times. In North America, Europe, and Australasia, many common crimes have fallen by half or more since the early 1990s,
The crime drop in comparative perspective: the impact of the economy and imprisonment on American and European burglary rates.
TLDR
A pooled cross-sectional time-series analysis of burglary rates in the USA and nine European nations between 1993 and 2006 indicates that burglary declines in the US and Europe were associated with rising consumer confidence and imprisonment appears to be significantly related to burglary rates only after unusual policy interventions.
Four factors that explain both the rise and fall of US crime, 1970–2003
Previous research has failed to explain the rise and fall of US crime since 1970. This study uses cointegration, error correction and common long-memory components analyses to demonstrate that four
Economical Crime Control
This paper is the introductory chapter for the forthcoming NBER volume Controlling Crime: Strategies and Tradeoffs. The Great Recession has led to cuts in criminal justice expenditures, and the trend
...
...

References

SHOWING 1-10 OF 225 REFERENCES
The Crime Drop and Beyond
▪ Abstract Violent crime in the United States has traveled a striking path in the past 20 years, from a sharp spike in the late 1980s to a dramatic drop beginning around 1993 that lasted until a
Legalized Abortion and Crime
Crime has fallen dramatically in the 1990s. While many explanations for this decline have been offered, each of them has difficulty explaining the timing, large magnitude, persistence, and widespread
Crime Rates and Local Labor Market Opportunities In the United States: 1979-1997
The labor market prospects of young, unskilled men fell dramatically in the 1980s and improved in the 1990s. Crime rates show a reverse pattern: increasing during the 1980s and falling in the 1990s.
Did Criminal Activity Increase During the 1980s? Comparisons Across Data Sources
There is a widely held belief that the level of serious criminal activity increased during the 1980s. particularly among the urban underclass, This increase has been mentioned as both a cause and
Crime Rates and Local Labor Market Opportunities in the United States: 19791997
The labor market prospects of young, unskilled men fell dramatically in the 1980s and improved in the 1990s. Crime rates show a reverse pattern: increasing during the 1980s and falling in the 1990s.
Using Electoral Cycles in Police Hiring to Estimate the Effect of Policeon Crime
Previous empirical studies have typically uncovered little evidence that police reduce crime. One problem with those studies is a failure to adequately deal with the simultaneity between police and
The Past, Present, and Future of Violent Crime Federalism
The history of the federal involvement in violent crime frequently is told as one of entrepreneurial or opportunistic action by presidential administrations and Congress. The problem with this story,
Shooting Down the More Guns, Less Crime Hypothesis
John Lott and David Mustard have used regression analysis to argue forcefully that 'shall-issue' laws (which give citizens an unimpeded right to secure permits for concealed weapons) reduce violent
The Unprecedented Epidemic in Youth Violence
The epidemic of youth violence that began in the mid-1980s has been demographically concentrated among black male youths: the homicide-commission rate for this group increased by a factor of about
...
...