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Evaluating Contemporary Crime Drop(s) in America, New York City, and Many Other Places

NCJ Number
Justice Quarterly Volume: 31 Issue: 1 Dated: February 2014 Pages: 5-38
Eric P. Baumer; Kevin T. Wolff
Date Published
February 2014
34 pages
This article discusses a crime decline during the 1990s in New York City.
This paper describes and evaluates some fundamental facts about the contemporary crime drop, summarizes the major explanations that have been offered for it, and assesses the validity of these explanations in light of observed trends. In contrast with much of the recent literature, we argue that the locus of the crime drop in the 1990s is not wholly consistent with the available data and that while New York City experienced substantial crime decreases, its uniqueness has been exaggerated. The authors suggest that it is important to partition the crime drop observed in New York City and elsewhere into global and more localized shifts, and offer some observations about the factors that appear most germane to driving these different dimensions of recent crime drops. The authors conclude with some suggestions for future inquiry. Abstract published by arrangement with Taylor and Francis.