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Impact of the Wilson Administration on Economic Crime Rates

NCJ Number
Journal of Quantitative Criminology Volume: 7 Issue: 4 Dated: (1991) Pages: 357-372
M B Chamlin; M B Kennedy
Date Published
Longitudinal data for Chicago, gathered from Uniform Crime Reports, were used to examine the independent effects of a change in hierarchical control, represented by the appointment of a new chief of police, and changes in the ecological structure of the city on reported rates of economic crime.
Multivariate analyses, which controlled for a number of structural variables, showed that there was a significant increase in each of the five categories of economic crime -- robbery, burglary, auto theft, grand larceny, and petty larceny -- committed in Chicago during the administration of Chief of Police O.W. Wilson. Previous failure to account for changes in hierarchical control resulted in model specification errors which lessened the analyses' capacity to predict and understand changes in the level of reported economic crime. This failure could also lead to omitted variable bias, specifically to a tendency to overemphasize the impact of long-term changes in the racial composition of Chicago on the level of reported economic crime.