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Get a JobLabor Markets, Economic Opportunity, and Crime$
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Robert D. Crutchfield

Print publication date: 2014

Print ISBN-13: 9780814717073

Published to NYU Press Scholarship Online: March 2016

DOI: 10.18574/nyu/9780814717073.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM NYU Press SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.nyu.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright University of NYU Press Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in NYSO for personal use.date: 19 June 2021

Modern Misérables

Modern Misérables

Labor Market Influences on Crime

(p.1) 1 Modern Misérables
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Robert D. Crutchfield

NYU Press

This introductory chapter briefly explores how labor market experiences influence crime. The general public easily accepts the idea that crime can be attributed to a poor economy. But recurring anomalies suggest that this may not, or at least not always, be true. For example, during the Great Depression of the 1930s the rates of some crimes declined, even though unemployment rates exceeded twenty-five percent for extended periods. During the 1960s, along with sustained economic expansion the United States experienced large increases in both property and violent crime rates. Considering the link between economy and crime more globally, it is no secret among criminologists that comparative poverty rates are not highly correlated with crime rates within western industrialized nations. And while some of the poorest nations of the word have high crime rates, many poor countries have relatively low rates.

Keywords:   labor market experiences, crime, poor economy, Great Depression, unemployment, economic expansion, United States, western industrialized nations

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