, Volume 10, Issue 4, pp 317-342

Temporal regularities in homicide: Cycles, seasons, and autoregression

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It has long been assumed that there exists a relationship between crime (including homicide) and season. After discussing three analytic approaches to this problem (looking for seasonality, a general autoregressive process, and cycles), we review the literature and show that confusing and conflicting findings have been reported about the temporal regularities of homicide. Employing monthly data from the Supplementary Homicide Reports (1976–1989), we find evidence for seasonality, autoregression, and cyclicality of homicide. Our modeling approaches clarify the previous conflicting research; implications for theory and future research are discussed.

The data utilized in this study were made available by the Inter-University Consortium for Political and Social Research. The data originally were collected by the Federal Bureau of Investigation. Neither the collector of the original data nor the Consortium bears any responsibility for the analyses or interpretations presented here. The authors contributed equally to this article.