Power Breakfast: Recession cuts crime rate, health reform, Ga. bank failures, Toyota, data theft

Unlike past recessions, this one seems to be cutting the crime rate.

You can thank your unemployed neighbor, in part, for a drop in home burglaries, AJC reporter Tammy Joyner writes.

“We assume crime climbs when the economy is down,” said Richard Rosenfeld, professor of criminology at the University of Missouri in St. Louis. But “during high unemployment, more people are at home and that cuts the rates of burglary.”

Until this recent downturn, a bad economy was easy to read: crime and deviant behavior (think drug dealing, fencing and the like) go up when the economy goes down, Joyner writes.

But the latest set of police reports across the country, including in Atlanta, don’t square with past downturns. The underground market, it seems, has been turned on its ear in this recession.

“This is a real break in past patterns,” Rosenfeld told about two dozen economists from around the world who gathered in Stone Mountain this month for the second annual meeting on the “Economics of Risky Behaviors.”

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3 comments Add your comment


March 29th, 2010
5:57 am

Wait until the unemployment compensation runs out. Plus, I think a lot of us are more aware and compassionate, and are kicking in more. I’ve got two neighbors that if they don’t go back to work soon I’m going to have to move. One is getting evicted today tho, so that should be my last assistance to him. I’m working with his landlord to make it as amiable and painless as possible. Needless to say I’m in the doghouse at home, tho.


March 29th, 2010
5:59 am

Many of the unemployed also received generous severance packages and I saw where some started drawing SS benefits earlier than planned.


March 29th, 2010
3:10 pm

Of course unemployment compensation expired long ago for millions. How long can Congress continue to extend it? That and the income tax refunds and rebates should keep the economy growing this quarter and the first part of the next.

I guess that depends on what your definition of generous is on the severance packages.