Honors Theses

Date of Award


Document Type

Undergraduate Thesis



First Advisor

Thomas Garrett

Relational Format



This thesis examines the relationship between crime and the business cycle in Mississippi. Working with a theoretical model of the individual's decision to commit a crime, I show that an increase in legal income decreases an individual's propensity to commit crime. I then use regressions to estimate the long-run and short-run income elasticities of violent crime, burglary, larceny, and vehicle theft. The long-run empirical model shows how income growth effects crime growth, and the short-run empirical model shows how income variability effects crime variability. In the long run, I find that as income increases (decreases), both burglary and larceny decrease (increase). In the short run, larceny again decreases (increases) as income increases (decreases), and burglary rises during years for which there are recessions. I find no long-run or short-run relationship between violent crime or vehicle theft and the business cycle.

Accessibility Status

Searchable text

Included in

Economics Commons



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