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Does poverty lead to crime? Evidence from the United States of America

Mohammed Imran (International Centre for Education in Islamic Finance, Lorong Universiti A, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia)
Mosharrof Hosen (International Centre for Education in Islamic Finance, Lorong Universiti A, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia)
Mohammad Ashraful Ferdous Chowdhury (Department of Business Administration, Shahjalal University of Science and Technology, Sylhet, Bangladesh)

International Journal of Social Economics

ISSN: 0306-8293

Article publication date: 7 August 2018

Issue publication date: 25 September 2018

Abstract

Purpose

Economic hardship and crime is always a debatable issue in the political economy literature. Some authors define poverty leads to crime some are completely opposite. The purpose of this paper is to find out the impact of poverty on crime in the USA.

Design/methodology/approach

Using time series data of USA over the period from 1965 to 2016, this study applies autoregressive distributed lag approach to identify the effect of poverty on crime.

Findings

The outcomes confirm a positive co-integrating relationship between poverty and property crime. It can be argued that poverty ultimately leads property crime in long run in the USA. However, unemployment and GDP exhibit neither long-run nor short-run relationship with property crime and they are not cointegrated for the calculated period.

Research limitations/implications

The subject of this paper helps to explain and analyze the nexus between poverty and crime in the USA.

Practical implications

Government and policymakers should focus more on poverty rather than unemployment alone to control property crime.

Originality/value

This study attempts to identify the consequences of economic hardship and poverty on the crime in the advanced economy like USA.

Keywords

Acknowledgements

The authors of this paper have not made their research data set openly available. Any enquiries regarding the data set can be directed to the corresponding author.

Citation

Imran, M., Hosen, M. and Chowdhury, M.A.F. (2018), "Does poverty lead to crime? Evidence from the United States of America", International Journal of Social Economics, Vol. 45 No. 10, pp. 1424-1438. https://doi.org/10.1108/IJSE-04-2017-0167

Publisher

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Emerald Publishing Limited

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