Skip to main content

Table 1 Fifteen hypotheses

From: Five tests for a theory of the crime drop

Name     Mechanism
Strong economy     Wealthy offenders commit less crime
Concealed weapons laws     More defensive guns, less crime
Capital punishment     More death penalty deterred crime
Gun control laws     Less guns, less crime
Rising prison population     Incapacitation and deterrence reduce crime
Policing strategies     Policing focused on crime problems (Compstat, POP)
More police     More police detected and deterred crime
Legalization of abortion     More abortion since 1973, less offenders by 1990s
Immigration     Immigrants commit less crime, so crime fell as immigration rose
Consumer confidence     Wealthy buy less from stolen goods markets
Waning crack market     2nd generation youth deterred by violence and prison for elders
Childhood lead     Lead poisoning of children made them adolescent criminals
Changing demographics     Aging population means relatively less young offenders
Civilizing process     Social institutions more legitimate (1960s-80s = age of protest)
Improved security     Improved security, reduced crime opportunities