Journal of Quantitative Criminology

, Volume 25, Issue 3, pp 287–306 | Cite as

Crime is the Problem: Homicide, Acquisitive Crime, and Economic Conditions

  • Richard RosenfeldEmail author
Original Paper


A question that emerges from recent research on the relationship between economic conditions and street crimes committed for monetary gain concerns the effect of changing economic conditions on violent crime. I propose that the economy stimulates violent crime indirectly through its effect on acquisitive crime. This hypothesis is evaluated in fixed-effects panel models of change in acquisitive crime and homicide rates between 1970 and 2006. The analysis indicates that collective perceptions of economic conditions have a significant effect on an index of acquisitive crime and an indirect effect, through acquisitive crime, on homicide. Consistent with this result, the effect of collective economic perceptions is stronger for felony than argument-related homicides. A promising focus for future research is the role of underground markets in the production of both property and violent crime.


Homicide Property crime Economy Underground markets 


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2009

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.University of Missouri-St. LouisSt. LouisUSA

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