Recession? Check. So Where's the Crime?

Now that New York City has been divested of its Wall Street riches and boomtime economy, it can go back to being a crime-infested war zone, right? Wrong. Violent crime in New York has fallen significantly compared to this time last year: murder is down 21 percent, rapes and robberies are down by nearly as much. Add that to the pile of evidence against the idea that recessions increase violent crime. One thing that is on the rise: Peace Corps applications, up 47 percent over last year in the New York regional office and 16 percent nationally. Remember that old saw about money being the root of all evil? [%comments]


deeznuts

Have they really fallen or is this a classic case of police under-reporting / mis-reporting ? Wouldn't be the first time.

(Jaded Cynic)

george

It's the "Love of money is the root of all evil" not money it self.

kip

People always quote that wrong. The Bible doesn't say money is the root of all evil, it says that the *love* of money is the root of all evil. The money isn't what's bad, it's greed.

George Smith

Could crime rates in NYC not be rising because the economy hasn't quite effected the poor in the city? The initial group hurt from this recession - especially in the NY area - were the wealthy financial types or those with mortgages in places outside the city. NYC poor are mostly renters. They work wage jobs that probably haven't been cut because the economic effects haven't trickled down there. Job losses in NY seem to be coming from the middle ground. I don't know - these are observations and some assumptions - but it could be worth looking into....

Griff

I thought that in a recession, violent crime went down and property crime went up ?

e.g. 'The Police Federation of England and Wales has conducted research which shows that when the economy is in recession property crime tends to grow relatively quickly'

(from Police Federation website)

Mike B

If most crime these days are drug related, perhaps the recession has reduced demand for drugs and hence reduced drug market side effects.

Keating Six

Does this add weight to the idea that crime stats correlate with trends in age demographics?

Kathy A.

I wonder what the effect is on property crime? Our business was broken in to last month, and our police department told us that there had been a sharp rise in thefts the last six months. But, one small town is an awfully small sample size...

econobiker

#6 Mike B wrote- "If most crime these days are drug related, perhaps the recession has reduced demand for drugs and hence reduced drug market side effects."

Maybe people stealing for food are getting there before the druggies?

"Violent crime in New York has fallen significantly compared to this time last year: murder is down 21 percent, rapes and robberies are down by nearly as much. "

People are staying in and not going out so is there is less chance for murder, rape and robbery?

jpmeyer

Additionally, during the 80s crime surged in New York City despite large economic growth.

hal

You are presuming that variance in crime rate has something to do with the economy (as you presume everything has to do with the economy). They are merely statistics that pass each other every day with no real acknowledgement.

Kavan Wolfe

I read the "pile of evidence" article. It presents more evidence in favor of the recession -> crime hypothesis than against. I don't know if recessions do contribute probabilistically to increases in crime or not, but I do know that citing one contrary example doesn't prove anything either way. This comment does not exactly embody the kind of rigorous thinking usually exemplified by Freakonomics contributors.

billy bob

Where is all the crime? Why that is obvious from the original freakanomics. The criminals were mostly aborted!

billy bob

which is why I have a hard time understanding why my fellow conservatives are against abortion. When I explain to them who predominantly was getting aborted I made a few converts but not many.