Journal of Criminal Justice 41 (2013) 220–227

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Journal of Criminal Justice

Unemployment, business cycles, crime, and the Canadian provinces
Martin A. Andresen ⁎
Associate Professor, School of Criminology, Institute for Canadian Urban Research Studies, Simon Fraser University, 8888 University Drive, Burnaby, BC V5A 1S6, Canada

a r t i c l e i n f o a b s t r a c t

Available online 14 June 2013 Purpose: Test the Cantor and Land (1985) model using multiple measures of the state of the economy.
Methods: A panel data set of the 10 Canadian provinces, 1981 – 2009, is analyzed using a hybrid modeling
approach called a decomposition model. Rather than one economy-related model, four are included in the
analysis: gross provincial product, gross provincial product per capita, unemployment rate, and low income.
Results: All economy-related variables matter for property and violent crime, but the sign and magnitude of
the estimated parameters vary based on context.
Conclusions: The relationship between the economy and crime is complex. Only including one economy-
related variable appears to result in omitted variable bias. As such, any evaluation of the relationship between
the economy and crime must consider multiple measures of the economy.
© 2013 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

Introduction model of unemployment and crime; and, second, unemployment
may not be the most appropriate measurement of economic perfor-
Criminological research that investigates the relationship between mance to test this model (Arvanites & DeFina, 2006).
economic performance and crime has a long history that dates back to This paper considers both of these issues using the Canadian prov-
the work of Shaw (1929) and Shaw and McKay (1931, 1942). As inces (1981 – 2009), variables representing unemployment, gross pro-
discussed by Cantor and Land (1985), the theoretical models operating vincial product, and low income, and a methodological approach that
behind this relationship include strain theory, utilitarian or rational- allows for the separation of motivation from opportunity through the
choice theories, conflict theories, and opportunity theories (Cantor & use of short- and long-run effects of the relationship between economic
Land, 1985). One limitation of this older research is that many of these performance and crime. The use of unemployment, gross provincial
theoretical models are related to one another, but were often not consid- product, and low income allows for a comparison of these variables,
ered in a common framework. Cantor and Land (1985) rectified this not previously undertaken, and the methodological approach addresses
limitation through the formulation of a model that considered the unem- the complications in previous empirical research.
ployment rate as representative of the state of the economy. Their model The contribution of this paper, therefore, is both methodological and
integrated previously disparate theoretical models, recognizing that the empirical. From a methodological perspective, a statistical method is
total effect of unemployment can be decomposed into motivational employed that, as argued below, is better suited to identify the relative
and guardianship/opportunity factors. In their subsequent empirical effects of motivation and opportunity on crime. The proper identifica-
analysis, Cantor and Land (1985) found that the opportunity effect dom- tion of motivation and opportunity effects are obviously critical to any
inates the motivation effect, particularly for property crime. assessment of the Cantor and Land (1985) model. Through the use of
The model put forth by Cantor and Land (1985) generated a large panel data on Canadian provinces, 1981 – 2009, this paper adds to the
body of subsequent research investigating the relationship between small number of panel data analyses in this literature (Arvanites &
unemployment and crime. Though there is much disagreement over DeFina, 2006). Moreover, the use of panel data involves greater sample
the empirical validation of the Cantor and Land (1985) model, most sizes that permit more control variables in an effort to avoid omitted
notably regarding whether motivation dominates opportunity, the variable bias and obtain greater precision in the estimates of the rela-
theory behind the empirical model is not questioned often. Over the tionship between the state of the economy and crime (Levitt, 2001).
past decade, research on the relationship between unemployment Empirically, measures of unemployment, gross provincial product,
and crime raises two issues with the current state of research: first, gross provincial product per capita, and low income are all used in an
the disagreement involving the empirical research, and resulting in- effort to identify the impact of the state of the economy on crime. In
consistencies in empirical results, is a product of complications inher- combination with the different statistical methodology, this allows for
ent in the statistical models used to test the Cantor and Land (1985) new insight into the nuances of the Cantor and Land (1985) model. As
outlined by Arvanites and DeFina (2006), the variable(s) measuring
⁎ Tel.: +1 778 782 7628; fax: +1 778 782 4140. the state of the economy are central to the Cantor and Land (1985)
E-mail address: andresen@sfu.ca. model. The unemployment rate is but one of a number of variables

0047-2352/$ – see front matter © 2013 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jcrimjus.2013.05.006

to represent economic conditions. . with the most common criticism being related to statis. states. Cantor and Land (1985). tionship with crime through both contemporaneous and lagged effects. Britt (1997) found that the particular form of and negative. the expected parameter signs tiple variables are available. Considering the impor. and motor vehicle theft). Increased motivation leads deficiencies”. And lastly. This has implications for statis- homicide and aggravated assault. this expectation needs to be tested rather tween unemployment and crime. Theoretical expectations These concerns ranged from statistical misspecification to the opera- tionalization of independent variables to units of analysis to statistical/ As stated above. pendent of the effects of unemployment and economic growth. He found that homicide. opportunities with more people staying home guarding person and In the context of state-level data for all of the United States. more than fifteen years after the Cantor to an increase in crime because of economic hardship. most importantly. this distribution shifts toward higher motivation levels. statistical methods. Andresen (2012) used a different statistical method in conjunction In their seminal work on the relationship between unemployment with slightly modified theoretical expectations that were incorporated and crime. and burglary finding ployment is statistically significant. may not be any reasons. Unem- Smith et al. Andresen (2012) was concerned with long-run versus short-run effects: long-run effects corresponded with motivation and short-run effects The unemployment and crime relationship corresponded with opportunity. crime is expected to increase. ianship effect (opportunity). However. a priori. as what will happen if you alter the variable of interest (short-run effect). based not only on the time frame of analysis but the crime type. In all their analyses. or are you interested in the ecological distributions of the two variables (long-run effect)? Hypothesis 2 (H2). In a special issue on unemployment and crime. for unemployment and economic growth are not included in their anal- and burglary had positive relationships with unemployment rates for ysis. but unemployment rates for youth were negatively related to conditions leads to omitted variable bias. Levitt property. motor vehicle theft. as this research beyond this largely U. found that the system activity effect (motivation) dominated the guard- Conventional wisdom in criminology was that the relationship be.A. as economic conditions effects in the unemployment and crime model: are you interested in worsen. tical modeling that are addressed below. larceny. but more importantly tion and guardianship matter for crime. lagged variables the unemployment rate was critical. Andresen / Journal of Criminal Justice 41 (2013) 220–227 221 that may be used to represent the state of the economy. burglary. This theoretical model results in the following two hypotheses: (2001) estimated a negative or statistically insignificant parameter for unemployment. protecting person and property. whereas economic growth is statistically significant. Rather. meaning that consumer sentiment is largely inde- (1991) for a rebuttal and Hale (1991) for a subsequent response. was stronger for property crime than violent crime. using a panel of census tracts. fundamental issues in its guardianship leads to a decrease in crime because of decreased criminal identification had yet to be resolved. were estimated and. In this novel sults that depended on the statistical method used in the analysis. in a re.S.from short-run ef- fects. if mul. and the appropriate measurement of eco. Moreover. ysis confirmed the Cantor and Land (1985) model. and there is no exception here. and increased and Land (1985) model had been published. this indicates that only including one measure of economic adults. tical methods. Hale and Sabbagh and Fornango (2007) also included the more traditional measures of eco- (1991) found evidence for a motivation effect (positively associated nomic conditions (unemployment and economic (GDP) growth) their with crime) but not for an opportunity effect—see Cantor and Land results remain robust. Greenberg (2001) cited a number of concerns with the unemployment and crime literature.versus long-run distribution of the population toward crime. for robbery and support for both motivation and opportunity. As such. His anal- than assumed. Cantor and Land (1985) state that once the model is properly into the current analysis. However. tance of measurement. sensitivity analyses should be employed.S. but was always statistically insignificant. These empirical evaluations can be separated into those the contemporaneous effects are stronger than the lagged effects and that consider unemployment and those that consider other variables vary in strength across the different crime types analyzed (robbery. Levitt (2001) used a panel data set and corresponding Hypothesis 1 (H1). robbery. states to find that economic downturns (measured using of subsequent research. Chiricos (1987) found mixed re. (1992) analyzed homicide. Economic conditions impact the frequency and du- The most comprehensive research on the relationship between un. the use of Canadian provinces allows for an extension of motivation are stronger for property crimes than violent crimes. ration individuals are at home. Arvanites and DeFina (2006) also nomic performance. this leads to people spending less time away that considered counties. economic conditions worsen. Economic conditions impact the motivational statistical method that raises the importance of short. specified. Needless to say. and the United States as a whole. Rosenfeld and same was true for the empirical evaluations of the Cantor and Land Fornango (2007) found that consumer sentiment has a negative rela- (1985) model. Turning to the research that considers alternative measures of the ty) on crime is negative. the guardianship ef- tween unemployment and crime was positive and that this relationship fect had its expected sign. per se. M. For more than gross state product) matter for property crimes and robbery. they found that the effects of Lastly. the impact of contemporaneous unemployment (opportuni. as economic condi- Phillips and Land (2012) found strong support for the Cantor and tions worsen. In 78 of 84 cases. p. Generally speaking.-based research. each discussed in turn. we find that that both motiva. He found that unemployment was posi- tively associated with crime in the long-run and negatively associated Empirical research1 with crime in the short-run. Greenberg (2001. for robbery and larceny—unfortunately. Such a statement that is in contrast to years state of the economy. Arvanites and DeFina (2006) used a 15-year of research in criminology most often generates a significant amount panel of U. recreational activities. In the analysis below. and is consistent with analysis. when Rosenfeld After considering a number of statistical issues. the Cantor and Land (1985) model of unemploy- econometric methods. and in tran- employment and crime is Phillips and Land (2012). Rosenfeld and Fornango (2007) used a measure of con- view of sixty-three empirical studies. Though there would be expected. from their home. The approach of testing the Cantor and Land (1985) model. sumer sentiment to measure general economic conditions. many researchers have argued over the unit of was expected because of economic motivation. and negative. 323) ment and crime separates the impact of an economic downturn (total was clear in his statement that “many—perhaps most—sociological system activity) into two effects: the system activity effect (motivation) analyses of crime rate time series…suffer from serious methodological and the guardianship effect (opportunity). work. robbery. this result twenty-five years now. In order to separate long. to expect different relationships in Andresen (2012) was the most recent research on the relationship be- another Western context. but they operate differently was not concerned with motivation versus opportunity. As such. In their analysis sit between these places. crime is expected to decrease. Land (1985) model.

this effect is expected to occur immediately be. In some cases. H2. Kennedy et al. We know this is not the case in the ent with regard to variable definitions. recreational activities. 100. 100. more time in the relatively protective environment of the home. This is most easily creasing east to west that is well known but not well understood done within the context of routine activity theory. economic activity. is based on changes in actual are expected to impact both property and violent crimes.222 M. and that a significant portion of the population (enough to impact crime shelter (Giles. As such. there is an identification problem years 1981-2009 were obtained from Statistics Canada’s Canadian with the formulation used by Cantor and Land (1985) and much of the Socio-economic Information Management (CANSIM) database. The individual provincial stand the theoretical dimensions of H1 and H2 in order to identify the descriptive statistics show a distinctive regional pattern of generally in- appropriate hypotheses and statistical method. 1987.000 inhabitants. because Data and methods people were at home guarding person and property immediately. such as with the Cantor and Land (plus robbery) are considered separately to be consistent with previous (1985) model specification. As stated above. variable that considers low income is best able to capture the motiva- tion side of the Cantor and Land (1985) model because it measures Hypothesis 2’ (H2’). Economic conditions impact the distribution of and the underemployed. especially property crime. ask of a single statistical method. 2001). a suitable target.. clothing. 1991. such a stated relationship implies 20 percent more after-tax income than average on food. their analysis of U. protecting person effects operated at different time frames: the system activity effect and property. when there are more individuals unem- time and space outside of the home. and shelter. in. pected to lead to lower levels of property and violent crime. gross provincial product per capita. gross provincial must be present: a motivated offender. However. Violent crime (less robbery) and property crime tions being asked. it is critical to under. Crime’s relation- targets for violent crime. Phillips and Greenberg (2008) state that crimes are measured as the natural logarithm of the crime rate per the statistical method employed must correspond to the type of ques. This is commonly done using motivation for criminal behavior. excludes those individuals who are not actively looking for work (1979) and Felson and Cohen (1980.000. The unemployment rate. leading to an underestimate of any downturn in the economy rose drastically. this will impact motivation and guardianship. In order to ensure that theoretical expectations are (Arvanites & DeFina. But this capita is measured in 2002 dollars and represents the average income relationship between motivation and crime trends is more complex in an economy. The panel data used contains the 10 Canadian provinces for the As outlined by Andresen (2012). Chiricos. As outlined by (Giffen. violent crime ranges from 280 to 2994 per Before this investigation delves any deeper. and the guardian- ship effect occurred immediately (a contemporaneous effect). a more conservative interpretation GPP. levels of economic activities at all stages of the business cycle. Cantor and Land (1985) found that unemployment has its greatest Data impact on property crime. a are expected to lead to higher levels of property crime. 2006. poor economic conditions lead to and Land (1985) assumed that the system activity and guardianship people spending less time away from their home. in the long-run. .000. if individuals are faced with interpreted as the relationship between crime and the percentage of poor economic conditions they are expected to have greater criminal families who have to spend a disproportionate percentage of their in- motivation. unemployment. but is also may better capture people out of the labor force Hypothesis 1’ (H1’). and crimes. Unemployment is H1 is obviously related to the motivated offender. measures overall economic activity in the is employed here: individuals who face higher levels of structural same way as gross state product in Arvanites and DeFina (2006) in unemployment and/or poorer economic conditions have greater mo. mate activity as soon as economic hardship occurs. 2006). the relationship their home. the percent of low income families is motivated offenders toward crime. 2004). statistics) move in and out of criminal activities as the strength of The importance of using multiple measures of the economy is appar- the economy waxes and wanes. Cantor measured as a rate: the percentage of unemployed persons relative to and Land (1985) state that motivation has a lagged effect on criminal the 15-64 year old work force in each province. In the aggre. in the short run economic conditions ship with GPP (per capita). GPP per mand for crime through the purchase of illegitimate goods. clothing. and the lack product. of the population) are obtained through CANSIM. ables based on dollars are standardized in the same manner. and low income (percent of a capable guardian.A. Therefore. states. in measuring relative change in the analysis below that is independent cause people spend more time at home protecting person and property of population sizes: the impact of a percent change in economic activity as economic conditions worsen. On the surface. Andresen / Journal of Criminal Justice 41 (2013) 220–227 In order to operationalize and test these hypotheses. 1965. poor economic conditions come on the life’s necessities of food. This latter transformation results targets. Economic conditions impact the frequency and those who have the greatest incentives to commit pecuniary-based duration individuals are at home. GPP per capita (see Arvanites & DeFina. This difference in definitions leads to slightly different interpreta- creased guardianship occurs because a person at home is guarding tions of the variables.000 with an average of 1140 per 100. addresses guardianship and suitable using the natural logarithm of GPP. some gate. on the other hand. Greenberg. however. Because different provinces have different tivation for criminal activity.S. gross provincial prod- choice such that it takes time for economic hardship to push an indi. Real consistent with known facts. All literature that follows suit. As such. on average. in the short-run poor economic conditions are ex- (motivation) had a lagged effect because people do not turn to illegiti. 2009). with crime is based on changes in the rate of individuals actually but because people are home there are also fewer people converging in searching for employment. uct (GPP) is measured in millions of 2002 dollars—all independent vari- vidual to commit criminal acts directly or indirectly increase the de. Andresen. work.000 with an aver- (2012) in his use of a hybrid statistical model is used to test H1 and H2. in order for a crime to occur three factors The primary variables of interest. If increasing numbers of people spend on the crime rate. 1976. members of this population are further along the continuum of form or normalization must take place. A decrease in economic activity represents a contrac- This leads to a slightly modified set of hypotheses to test: tion in the economy that indicates fewer opportunities in property crimes. Lastly. for ex- long run. 1981): economic conditions as well as those who are underemployed because of economic condi- were very strong during the 1950s and 1960s yet the crime rate still tions. Cantor in transit between these places. but may also be done The second hypothesis. age of 5344 per 100. Cohen and Felson (1979). and the guardianship effect dominates the system activity effect. reducing the number of suitable ployed. that simultaneously makes these places unsuitable targets. because of the paradox discussed by Cohen and Felson ample. and low income is the percentage of families spending than it appears. testing multiple hypotheses is too much to research. With regard to unemployment. we follow Andresen Property crime ranges from 2432 to 9313 per 100.

A more direct measure of the consequences of ethnic ables that involve young males is positive in the long.37 1. 2007). Therefore. 3. the expectation for the immigration vari- 2006b. however.1 84. particu- ing variables are employed: young males. 2003.97 Alcohol spending. percent for each year and each province. expected to have positive relationships with crime in the long-run the only correlation coefficient that exceeds 0. percent 18. net immigrants. corrections spending. Both of these variables are expected to have a positive relationship (2009).2 9. tivity theory variables. (im)migration. is included because of its known relationship with crime provincial values.01 0. mated parameters to be either negative or statistically insignificant. 2006a. police officers per capita. control variables are employed.11 21.61 -0. an increase in to test the predictions of the Cantor and Land (1985) model. percent. percent.79 Low income.05 1. percent 0. measured in a variety of ways. this allows for the separation of potential ate social cohesion leading to crime.31 Net immigrants.76 273. and total immi- turnover (residential instability) and ethnic heterogeneity (cultural dif.74 1. Gini coefficient.18 1. per se. percent -0. young male. Though this list of variables is not as extensive as in research using a ture the increased presence of the most crime-prone sub-population census that corresponds to social disorganization theory and routine ac- (young males) as well as relative economic hardship that may lead to in. Consequently. percent 0. i. This is because they cap. Miethe et al. -0. Trend ranges from 1 to 29 Table 1 Descriptive statistics.04 Immigrants. places with higher degrees of population provincial.00 Criminal incidents per officer 24.15 . The ex. percent. In the short-run.e. discussed expectations for the remaining immigration variables are for their esti- below. crime because it takes time to gener. all crime rates during the 1980s and subsequent crime drop in the Capable guardianship. many ethnic As such. young male.01 0.05 0.14 0. young male. 2003. and criminal incidents per officer. interprovincial net social disorganization and.52 2. percent -0.50 is that between GPP and negative relationships with crime in the short-run. percent -0. 1983 and Boyd.01 48. larly at the macro-level—see Ousey and Kubrin (2009) and Stowell et al. it may not be immigration. one must be careful because ethnic heterogeneity does the population of young males that happens to be from immigration. the follow.24 0.21 0. Trend takes on sequential values (1. percent of GDP 0. These are based on the yearly of GPP.04 1. percent of GDP 0. net disorganization theory...12 Gini coefficient 34. Fourteen formal guardianship. these variables that places with long-term.32 0. 1987). the author. With the inclusion of ferences. migrating young males.71 3. immigrants. that gives greater levels of police personnel leading to a positive relationship credence to using more than one measure of the state of the economy between police and crime.37 Corrections spending. As such. international versus inter- 1931. 1981 – 2009 Independent Variable Minimum Maximum Mean Std.65 Interprovincial immigrants. with crime in the long-run and the short-run. young male. or external versus internal.04 Interprovincial immigrants. In fact. interprovincial immigrants. Criminal incidents per officer is expected to have a positive rela- short-run (unemployment and low income). Shaw & McKay.23 0.06 0. percent. percent. structural. Dev. of GPP. 1992 dollars 16141 66100 30563 8697 Unemployment. Sampson & Groves. etc.07 0.03 11. Canadian provinces. the most in any other study known to Immigration is measured using eight different variables: immigrants.91 Young males. language differences. This is based on the recent research on immigration and crime.5 0.94 3.05 Net immigrants.97 3. (gross) immigration versus net immigration.05 1.47 Number of police officers 178 25558 5519 6670 Police officers per 100 000 136. The first three variables are though in the expected direction.59 0. immigrants. percent 0.and short-run. percent the control variables are shown in Table 1. young male. or lack thereof. and interprovincial net immigrants. percent. with equivalent statistics available for each province (Grubesic & Pridemore.A. 1989. percent 0. In order to capture the presence of motivated offenders. 1983. 2. immigrants. ate cohesiveness in an area to repel crime (Cahill & Mulligan.31 0.91 1.and short-run—this is technically not motivation Lastly. police in interpreted as an increase in capable guardianship over and pectations for these variables are to be positively associated with above any long-term structural relationships between police and crime in the long-run and negatively associated with crime in the crime. percent. GPP. young male.7 44 39.39 0. 2011) and is also expected to lead to increases to the interested reader. resents a relative underrepresentation of the police in that area. hence. The heterogeneity is immigration. M. are not great in magnitude.and short-run because this to crime in the long-run and positively associated with crime in the captures a workload issue: increases in criminal incidents per officer rep- short-run (GPP and GPP per capita).05 0. The descriptive statistics for Kennedy & Forde. just the immigration of the minorities in North America have lived here for generations and have known most criminogenic sub-population (see Hirschi & Gottfredson. In the context of ethnic immigrant-based relationships with crime and simply the increases in heterogeneity. in crime in the long.96 20. The fundamental concepts of population turn. independent variables.13 32. that are selected based on routine activity theory and social percent. 2000). over and ethnic heterogeneity (social disorganization theory) lead to interprovincial immigrants.63 179. young male. …) police officers. percent 3.50 Interprovincial net immigrants. Alcohol spending. crime problems will have each contain meaningful levels of independent variation. percent. is measured using: number of 1990s: Trend and Trend2. gration versus the immigration of young males. not necessarily imply cultural and language differences.) may prove more difficult to gener. it consists of all variables that relate to these the- creased illegitimate economic activity (Hirschi & Gottfredson.43 0. Clearly. It is expected per capita and the unemployment rate. 1990.34 Immigrants. we include two trend variables to account for the increase in but alcohol impacts potential offenders.12 0.59 0. Andresen / Journal of Criminal Justice 41 (2013) 220–227 223 The bivariate correlations between these four variables of interest. There are three primary distinctions within this set of variables: Lowenkamp et al.16 Interprovincial net immigrants.66.41 13. and negatively related tionship with crime in both the long.24 0. ories that are available for this time frame. young male. 1942). percent 4. percent -1. a lack of All control variables are also obtained through CANSIM. millions 1992 dollars 1995 527027 98542 123131 GPP per capita.6 -0.6 22. adopted North American culture and language (Andresen.26 4.3 0.4 20.

section of data. avoids the potential of analyzing time-varying effects were used in the analyses with no qualitative an aberrant year of data. 2001. 2010. reverse signs. 1990). it ested reader. in the analysis below. p. these 11 variables indicating that multicollinearity is a problem. but the relative ecological distribution of these variables re. White’s variable? Or. This is confirmed in the analysis models for identifying long-run effects are the same. 2011). not shown for the purposes of brevity Short-run relationships are identified through the use of the addi. Additionally. The crime drop is a well-documented phenomenon that is pres. 2008. One final concern for the statistical modeling. Consequently. The Phillips. giving an indication of potential statistical significance issues general results of this hybrid model and separate models single-year resulting from multicollinearity. multicollinearity in a regression context. He states that a VIF ranging and short-run relationships simultaneously. Farrell et al. Kaufman. the below with all but two of the long-run effects not being estimated for hybrid model has the advantage of estimating average results for all the immigration variables.90. This is done by calculating the average value for each variable under analysis within each ecological cross section. including Canada and its prov. estimates the short-run effects” (Kennedy. However.R-project. this approach was taken because only one set of long-run relationships is estimated rather than one for of its economy of variables. As shown below. a statistical method that identifies long-run relationships ment for Statistical Computing bhttp://www. inflate standard errors potentially leading to the appearance of a (set librium.and short-run rela- yjt ¼ α þ βX j þ γ xjt −X j ð1Þ tionships independently. as stated by Though there is no established rule of thumb in this context. As such. In a bivariate context this approx- referred to as a decomposition model. each year under analysis.80—all correlations are available to the inter- effects estimator is based on the time series component of the data. and succinctness.80 as a threshold for concern (Andresen. estimation of long-run relationships (between-group effects) and short. γ is the estimated parameter for the short-run effect answered with this method is whether or not the ecological distribution of variable X that is measured as deviations from its average value over of one variable is related to the ecological distribution of another the time frame of analysis (xjt . is multicollinearity. estimated parameters change in magni- vations for each of the variables and its average value within each tude significantly (but remain the same sign). In the current context. These results are available to the interested . 382). In this particular situation. alternatively. when using fixed effects panel estimation “only the researchers have used 0. address multicollinearity may impose omitted variable basis—it does Such an analysis assumes the data represent processes that are in equi. H1’. the hybrid modeling approach avoids the potential pitfall of analyzing an aberrant single-year ecological cross section of data. is the common intercept. α logical cross-section identifies long-run relationships between the de.80. β is the estimated parameter for the long-run pendent and explanatory variables.2 Consequently. similar to a fixed effects model. Similar variable captures the differences between the individual yearly obser. H2’. In All estimation is undertaken using R: A Language and Environ- the case of H1’. Overall. discussed below.. analysis. This is equivalent to the fixed effects variables in a from statistically significant to insignificant and back again—see a re- fixed effects model. Fundamentally. 1993. where as H2’ requires a statistical method that can identify pendent and independent variables listed above are estimated in short-run relationships. large number of control variables. With this statistical method. all variables are included in the ecological cross-sections rather than for each (yearly) ecological cross. ent across countries all over the world. this hybrid modeling approach allows for the identification inces (Tseloni et al. O’Brien (2007) discusses the variance inflation factor (VIF) and The second statistical modeling approach considers both the long. are capable of identifying their respective predictions are critical. lations between the immigration variables are most often greater than other variable to account for short-run changes. and move ecological unit. 287). particularly with a mains the same. we may consider the literature discussion correla- parameter estimates” (Levitt.. and minimizes the volume of output because changes in the results.A. The 0. to analyses in other contexts. These two modified hypotheses Statistical methods are unambiguously testable using the hybrid statistical method outlined below. Results quently. various analyses in the interest of avoiding omitted variables bias. with the output within this hybrid statistical model being able to In order to test the hypotheses H1’ and H2’. The de- is necessary. this statistical method situation would be particularly problematic if a high degree of multi- has a data set with a large number of ecological units and is not practical collinearity was present within the variables of interest. This allows for the identification of motivation and test. Steven Levitt. Trend2 is the square of the identification of year-to-year short-run effects—the results from Trend. 287).and long-run effects tional variable mentioned in the previous paragraph. or all years individually. Though multi- ing H1’. or. This hybrid model is often from 5 to 10 tends to cause concern. this hybrid sta- tistical model is used to test H1’ and H2’. 2005.X j ). Andresen / Journal of Criminal Justice 41 (2013) 220–227 for each province.org>. This additional with various combinations of the economy-related variables. Considering bivariate correlations between A statistical method that identifies short-run relationships.224 M. The sample size is 290. Ideally. 29 years from 1981 – 2009. As outlined by Kennedy (2008. but adds in an. is the often-used single-year ecological cross-section.and short-run relationships. The bivariate corre- cross-sections together. a subset of the years. However. revealed the impact on short. extracting the average relationship between the dependent of) variable(s) being statistical insignificant (Kennedy. 2006). This hybrid model pools all the single-year ecological same cannot be said for the immigration variables. there is no need for further fixed view of similar results in the context of the structural covariates of ho- effect dichotomous variables and this modeling approach allows for micide (Land et al. A number of other of long. there is no systematic statistical insignificance for run relationships (within-group effects) (Allison. allowing for the simultaneous imately leads to a correlation coefficient that ranges from 0. do places with high levels of unemployment heteroskedastic-autocorrelation consistent standard errors are used also have high crime? This particular statistical method investigates for all statistical significance testing and subsequent tests for serial cor- ecological stability: crime and unemployment rates may rise and fall relation are statistically insignificant. statistical methods that determine the relative strength of motivation and opportunity. this are the same as the fixed effects estimator. Conse.   The first modeling approach considers the long. where yjt is the natural logarithm of a crime rate in province j at time t. A statistical method that identifies long-run re- lationships. Such a and independent variable(s) or interest.. In the current in the current context because there are only 10 Canadian provinces. year-to-year. this is not the case. p. short-term relationships between the variables will be reflected in the 2006a). there are two the following general specification4: modeling approaches that may be undertaken. is the the 11 independent variables that do not involve immigration there fixed effects panel data method. the question being effect of variableX j . “the fixed is only one that exceeds 0. 2008).3 tions. A preliminary set of results. this method may be performed on any collinearity does not impose bias on the results—removing variables to given year in the data set.80 to 0. an analysis using a single-year eco.

percent -6.and short-run effects. Rather than show the incremental impact of these vari.28** 2. percent -15. the long-run and negative in the short-run.706*** -5.38*** 14.54*** 0. In their model.26*** 0. we contribute to this literature through the inclusion of multiple The results for the full model of the state of the economy variables measures of economic activity (the unemployment rate. All Property Crime Violent Crime Long Run Effects Short Run Effects Long Run Effects Short Run Effects GPP.88** Net immigrants. .56** Interprovincial immigrants. both of which are negative. ** 5 percent significance.072 Adjusted-R2 0.97*** 1. Therefore.561*** 18. includes all four of the state of the officers is negative related to violent crime in the long-run. GPP per with the violent crime rate are more consistent than with the property capita. economy variables are included and excluded is an indication of omit- a positive long-run effect. historically a positive correlate with crime. but it is positive. GPP. Young males. M. positive in the most consistent with expectations. similarly for alcohol spending. Perhaps the short-run. best known and complete is the model of unemployment and crime lationship with property crime in the long-run and the number of crim. The results for the immigration impact crime: motivation and guardianship/opportunity.95 Notes. Canadian Provinces. GPP has a statistically significant estimated parame. Lastly. but positive economy variables: the unemployment rate.01*** Police officers per 100 000 -1. percent 0.127 -7.27*** -0. Andresen / Journal of Criminal Justice 41 (2013) 220–227 225 reader. percent -0.09*** -13.28*** Interprovincial net immigrants. percent -0. This indicates omitted The estimated parameters for the Gini coefficient are negative in the variable bias. opposite of expectations. Alcohol spending has positive and negative estimated parame- ters in the long. respectively. identification of these two counteracting effects on crime that operate tistically significant for violent crime.27*** 0. young male. Each is discussed in negative and statistically significant estimated parameter for the short- turn. millions 1992 dollars 2.28*** -0. 1981–2009. The number of police offi. at different time frames. percent 1. a statistical method that better allows for the crime rate. The long.and short-run.03*** Criminal incidents per officer 0.966*** 3.312*** Number of police officers 2.161** Immigrants. Corrections spending.878*** -0. and low income). it is argued that multiple measures of the Table 2 Regression results. but the number of police officers per capita has a negative re.052 0. Needless to say. but generally reveal for property crime. of criminal incidents per officer. has a ables included for property crime and violent crime.and short-run.296** -0.021 3. it is clear that the choice of variable to represent the state of unemployment rate has statistically significant estimated parameters the economy has a (statistically) significant impact on the results for for both the long. the same pattern. run. GPP has negative estimated pa. All inference based on heteroskedasticity and autocorrelation consistent errors. 1992 dollars -0. put forth by Cantor and Land (1985). young male.012 0.037*** Low income.014*** 0.007 -2.99*** GPP per capita. criminal incidents per officer are both positive. when more state of the economy variables are included in tive estimated parameters in the long. GPP. This has implications for any analysis that only considers one Land (1985) model. percent -0. For over variables are mixed.95*** 1. Cantor and Land inal incidents per police officer has a positive estimated relationship (1985) outline two counteracting forces from unemployment that with property crime in the short-run.863*** 0.222 1. paper. The number of police The final set of results. both property and violent crime. The varying results as the state of the low income has only one statistically significant estimated parameter.060 0.A.127*** -0. young male. The long-run effects of police officers per capita and low income. negative and statistically significant in the long.429 -0. these results present full models with all vari.592*** Corrections spending.94*** -1. is model of the relationship between the economy and crime.and short-run with the corresponding results for property crime.059 -0. Estimated parameters are elasticities.96 0.072 -0. percent -1.and short-run whereas the estimated context.73*** Gini coefficient 0. these overall results are not ted variable bias when only one of these variables is included in the particularly consistent with the expectations set out by Cantor and analysis. percent of GDP 0. The Overall.119* 0.and short-run.026*** Alcohol spending.59*** 0. of expectations. and in the short-run. percent of GDP -0. GPP per capita. but clearly show the impact of omitted variables in a statistical long-run and positive in the short-run. scholars have debated the merit of the model itself (though of young males leads to an increase in the property crime rate in the infrequently) and the varied empirical validations of the model.49*** Unemployment. however.28 Immigrants. young male.01* 0. times switch signs and alter the magnitudes. In this short-run. The results for the immigration variables do have some differences GPP per capita is statistically insignificant in the long. ter for the long run effect. particularly for violent crime. parameters for GPP per capita are both positive. Table 2. percent 15. And low income has nega. The unemployment Overall.69*** -2.run. but the general result here is that the immigration 25 years. natural logarithm of property crime rate. However. The Gini coefficient has is expected positive relationship with property Discussion crime.048** -0. and an extension of this research to a non-US rameters for both the long. with the former being opposite analysis. the results for the unemployment rate and low income are rate has the expected signs on its estimated parameters. *** 1 percent significance. percent 0. percent -0.and short-run effects for all four variables are sta.and short. The control variables also reveal some interesting of the available variables when testing the Cantor and Land (1985) results.and encompassed by a number of theoretical frameworks.016*** -0. Canadian provinces. as is the short-run effect ables as discussed above. Young males the analysis the estimated parameters for these variables will at has the expected positive sign for both the long. * 10 percent significance.159** Young males.556*** Interprovincial immigrants. The relationship between the economy and crime is complex and cers has a positive relationship with property crime in the long.156** -1.01 Net immigrants.137* Interprovincial net immigrants.97* 10.

7. nomic activity. 66 – 110). not simply one of these variables. Overall. Cohen. 147–175. though ex ante. (1976). Porter and Purser (2010). M. Modeling violent crime rates: A test of social disorganization in This discussion points to the importance of context within the the city of Tshwane. A. L. T. only that each effect matters to a greater Fox. 187–212. β and γ are actually Perhaps most interesting in the context of GPP and GPP per capita is vectors. (2011). Andresen. tion predict crime or victimization? An examination of gang member versus Directions for future research need to follow at least two paths. P. Second.and short-run ployment and crime: A comment on Hale and Sabbagh. Income and Land (1985) model with the results presented in this analysis. It is reasonable to assume that Andresen. (2010). This implies that firms attempt to introduce new products with the an. D. Toronto. fixed effects for single years. Andresen (2011).. and Walters (2011). 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