Unemployment makes women more likely to be victims of crime

October 25, 2013

Crime and unemployment are linked, but not always in the ways we think they are.

Thanks to the work of three UK researchers, it's now clear that in some circumstances female unemployment – rather than unemployment as a whole – makes the biggest difference to rates of violent and property crimes.

Writing in the journal Applied Economics, Steve Cook and Duncan Watson (both from the University of Wales Swansea) and Louise Parker (from the University of East Anglia) take a closer look at two ways that unemployment impacts on : the 'opportunity' effect (a strong economy means more goods worth stealing, and fewer people sat at home to guard them) and the 'motivation' effect (a weak economy widens perceived differences between lifestyles and can tempt some into crime).

After crunching data gathered from the US Bureau of Labor and the FBI's Uniform Crime Reporting Statistics, the team analysed them further for gender effects. Their most important finding was that female unemployment but not male unemployment showed 'significant opportunity effects for aggregate , aggregate property crime and components of violent crime.' In other words, high female unemployment means a higher likelihood of higher crime rates.

Contrary to the expectations of previous studies, the opportunity effects here are counter-cyclical. Their results did not support the traditional 'latchkey' theory that high female employment increases crime because women were working rather than looking after their children.

Their results also did not support the idea that by challenging gender roles, female employment contributes to an increase in crime, especially domestic violence.

Instead, their results supported a 'victimisation' thesis. High levels of female unemployment translate into high numbers of women without the means to escape situations where they are likely to experience crime.

With its innovative approach to examining the relationship between and crime, this study provides an important insight into yet another distressing consequence of a weak economy, for women in particular.

Explore further: Foreclosure crisis and metropolitan crime rates

More information: New evidence on the importance of gender and asymmetry in the crime–unemployment relationship, Steve Cook, Duncan Watson & Louise Parker, Applied Economics Volume 46, Issue 2, 2014, DOI: 10.1080/00036846.2013.835481

Related Stories

Foreclosure crisis and metropolitan crime rates

August 17, 2012

The housing foreclosure crisis has been blamed for widespread economic and social problems in the United States, including reduced property values, depressed consumer spending and a decline in government services. Some observers ...

Residents feel safer with walkable, retail space

October 8, 2013

The characteristics of walkable neighbourhoods have been explored for their associations with perceived crime risk and fear of crime in Perth's new suburban housing developments.

The reasons behind crime

October 11, 2013

More punishment does not necessarily lead to less crime, say researchers at ETH Zurich who have been studying the origins of crime with a computer model. In order to fight crime, more attention should be paid to the social ...

Recommended for you

Model shows how surge in wealth inequality may be reversed

July 30, 2015

(Phys.org)—For many Americans, the single biggest problem facing the country is the growing wealth inequality. Based on income tax data, wealth inequality in the US has steadily increased since the mid-1980s, with the top ...

Earliest evidence of reproduction in a complex organism

August 3, 2015

Researchers led by the University of Cambridge have found the earliest example of reproduction in a complex organism. Their new study has found that some organisms known as rangeomorphs, which lived 565 million years ago, ...

French teen finds 560,000 year-old tooth (Update)

July 28, 2015

A 16-year-old French volunteer archaeologist has found an adult tooth dating back around 560,000 years in southwestern France, in what researchers hailed as a "major discovery" Tuesday.

1 comment

Adjust slider to filter visible comments by rank

Display comments: newest first

OnlineJob
1 / 5 (1) Oct 25, 2013
Job Opportunity - Employment News - Log On: ...onlinefreearnmoney.blogspot.in

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.