Economics and Youth Violence

Economics and Youth Violence: Crime, Disadvantage, and Community

Richard Rosenfeld
Mark Edberg
Fang Xiangming
Curtis S. Florence
Copyright Date: 2013
Published by: NYU Press
Pages: 336
https://www.jstor.org/stable/j.ctt9qfrcj
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  • Book Info
    Economics and Youth Violence
    Book Description:

    How do economic conditions such as poverty, unemployment, inflation, and economic growth impact youth violence?Economics and Youth Violenceprovides a much-needed new perspective on this crucial issue. Pinpointing the economic factors that are most important, the editors and contributors in this volume explore how different kinds of economic issues impact children, adolescents, and their families, schools, and communities.Offering new and important insights regarding the relationship between macroeconomic conditions and youth violence across a variety of times and places, chapters cover such issues as the effect of inflation on youth violence; new quantitative analysis of the connection between race, economic opportunity, and violence; and the cyclical nature of criminal backgrounds and economic disadvantage among families. Highlighting the complexities in the relationship between economic conditions, juvenile offenses, and the community and situational contexts in which their connections are forged,Economics and Youth Violenceprompts important questions that will guide future research on the causes and prevention of youth violence.Contributors: Sarah Beth Barnett, Eric P. Baumer, Philippe Bourgois, Shawn Bushway, Philip J. Cook, Robert D. Crutchfield, Linda L. Dahlberg, Mark Edberg, Jeffrey Fagan, Xiangming Fang, Curtis S. Florence, Ekaterina Gorislavsky, Nancy G. Guerra, Karen Heimer, Janet L. Lauritsen, Jennifer L. Matjasko, James A. Mercy, Matthew Phillips, Richard Rosenfeld, Tim Wadsworth, Valerie West, Kevin T. WolffRichard Rosenfeldis Curators Professor of Criminology and Criminal Justice at the University of Missouri - St. Louis.Mark Edbergis Associate Professor at the George Washington University School of Public Health and Health Services.Xiangming Fangis Professor of Economics and Director of the International Center for Applied Economics and Policy in the College of Economics and Management at China Agricultural University.Curtis S. Florenceis the lead health economist for the National Center for Injury Prevention and Control (NCIPC).

    eISBN: 978-0-8147-6023-9
    Subjects: Economics

Table of Contents

  1. Front Matter
    (pp. i-iv)
  2. Table of Contents
    (pp. v-vi)
  3. 1 Introduction
    (pp. 1-20)
    RICHARD ROSENFELD, CURTIS S. FLORENCE, FANG XIANGMING and MARK EDBERG

    Scholars, policymakers, and the general public have long been interested in how economic conditions such as poverty, unemployment, inflation, and economic growth affect public problems, including the level and types of youth violence in a community or society, the focus of the current volume. The connection between macroeconomic factors and youth violence has been referenced or alluded to in much of the literature on this issue. But significant research gaps remain, and opinion is far from settled with respect to the economic factors that are most important and how their impact is manifested in children, adolescents, and their families, schools,...

  4. PART I: TRENDS IN MACROECONOMIC CONDITIONS AND YOUTH VIOLENCE
    • 2 The Net Effect of the Business Cycle on Crime and Violence
      (pp. 23-52)
      SHAWN BUSHWAY, PHILIP J. COOK and MATTHEW PHILLIPS

      The business cycle has a pervasive effect on economic activity, employment, and household income, as well as consumption patterns, school enrollments, mortality rates, and a variety of other social indicators.¹ It is reasonable to believe that the business cycle also has an effect on crime rates. In particular, conventional wisdom asserts that crime is countercyclical—trending up during recessions and down during economic expansions—because it is a substitute for legitimate sources of income. That view has been endorsed by numerous reports in the popular media since the onset of the “great recession” of 2007 but is less securely anchored...

    • 3 Are the Criminogenic Consequences of Economic Downturns Conditional? Assessing Potential Moderators of the Link between Adverse Economic Conditions and Crime Rates
      (pp. 53-84)
      ERIC P. BAUMER, RICHARD ROSENFELD and KEVIN T. WOLFF

      In the wake of significant economic expansion and steeply falling crime rates for much of the 1990s, two notable economic downturns have served as bookmarks for the present decade: a significant contraction of the U.S. economy during the last half of 2001 and a major economic decline that emerged in different sectors in 2006 and 2007 and had by the end of 2009 morphed into one of the most severe economic recessions of the past century (National Bureau of Economic Research, 2010). The most recent of these economic downturns, dubbed widely as the “Great Recession,” has stimulated renewed interest in,...

    • 4 Economic Conditions and Violent Victimization Trends among Youth: Guns, Violence, and Homicide, 1973–2005
      (pp. 85-118)
      JANET L. LAURITSEN, EKATERINA GORISLAVSKY and KAREN HEIMER

      The purpose of this chapter is to describe previously unknown national trends in violent victimization among youth and to provide evidence about the association between these trends and national economic conditions. Information about long-term trends in youth violence has been primarily limited to the crime of homicide, which may not mirror trends in nonfatal serious violence. Data for short-term trends in nonfatal youth violence are available for more recent time periods, largely for the 1990s and beyond. However, such data exclude the major economic downturns that occurred in the United States during the 1970s and 1980s. By developing estimates of...

  5. PART II: THE NEIGHBORHOOD CONTEXT
    • 5 The Nonlinear Effect of Neighborhood Disadvantage on Youth Violence: Neighborhood Effects on Youth Violence
      (pp. 121-151)
      FANG XIANGMING, RICHARD ROSENFELD, LINDA L. DAHLBERG and CURTIS S. FLORENCE

      Youth violence is a serious public health problem that affects young people, their families, and communities across the United States. Homicide is the second leading cause of death for young people between the ages of 10 and 24 in the United States (CDC 2009).¹ In 2007, 5,764 young people in this age group were victims of homicide, and more than 668,000 cases of violence-related injuries in young people aged 10 to 24 were treated in U.S. emergency departments (CDC 2009). In addition to causing injury and death, youth violence affects communities by increasing health care expenditure, reducing productivity, decreasing property...

    • 6 Aggravated Inequality: Neighborhood Economics, Schools, and Juvenile Delinquency
      (pp. 152-180)
      ROBERT D. CRUTCHFIELD and TIM WADSWORTH

      One of the challenges of the scholarship connecting macroeconomic conditions to youth violence has been identifying the mechanisms that underlie the process by which individuals are influenced by the structural conditions in their communities.¹ While there has been much focus on labor markets and the impact of unemployment as well as employment in secondary sectors, a key theoretical connection has been missing. The people who have been directly influenced by unemployment and macro shifts in types of available employment (e.g., labor market restructuring resulting from deindustrialization) have been adults, while much of the violent crime is committed by adolescents or...

    • 7 Street Markets, Adolescent Identity, and Violence: A Generative Dynamic
      (pp. 181-206)
      MARK EDBERG and PHILIPPE BOURGOIS

      As for others in this volume, this chapter originated as part of a major effort sponsored by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)¹ to identify the linkages between macroeconomic factors and youth violence. The effort includes a significant review of the current scientific literature as well as the convening of a national, interdisciplinary panel of experts who have been addressing these issues from different social science and public health disciplinary perspectives. The primary purpose of the combined effort is (a) to understand what is currently known about the linkages between macroeconomic factors and youth violence linkages and to...

    • 8 Incarceration and the Economic Fortunes of Urban Neighborhoods
      (pp. 207-252)
      JEFFREY FAGAN and VALERIE WEST

      Research on the growth in incarceration has focused on both the sources of incarceration and its public safety returns.¹ The incapacitative and deterrent effects of incarceration are fundamental rationales for the heavy fiscal burdens of mass incarceration, and legislators have used a wide range of policy instruments to increase both the number of persons sentenced to prison and the lengths of their sentences. Recent studies disagree on the impacts of incarceration on crime rates within states (see, for example, Spelman, 2000; Zimring, Hawkins, and Kamin, 2003; Levitt, 2004; Katz, Levitt, and Shustorovich, 2003) or smaller areas within cities (Clear et...

  6. PART III: CHILD DEVELOPMENT, FAMILIES, AND YOUTH VIOLENCE
    • 9 Macroeconomic Factors, Youth Violence, and the Developing Child
      (pp. 255-277)
      NANCY G. GUERRA

      A substantial literature has shown an association between violence rates and macroeconomic conditions such as poverty, economic downturns, unemployment, and income inequality (Pratt & Cullen, 2005). In general, poor developing nations have higher violence rates than do wealthier industrialized countries, and violence rates typically are highest in the most economically disadvantaged urban communities worldwide (Moser & Holland, 1997). For example, Japan, which is ranked second worldwide in gross domestic product (GDP), had an overall homicide rate of 0.5 per 100,000 population in the late 2000s, with similarly low rates among youth (United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime, 2009). In contrast, Jamaica,...

    • 10 Macroeconomic Factors and Inequities in Youth Violence: The Cyclical Relationship between Community Conditions, Family Factors, and Youth Violence
      (pp. 278-302)
      JENNIFER L. MATJASKO, SARAH BETH BARNETT and JAMES A. MERCY

      One of the central questions of this volume is whether there is a relationship between broader macroeconomic factors and youth violence.¹ Macroeconomic fluctuations, or a deviation in the growth of gross domestic product (GDP) around a long-term trend, can cause systemic changes in institutions and macroeconomic conditions and at the same time cause stress or strain on local and regional economies, communities, families, and individuals. These economic fluctuations at the macro and local levels have differential effects on individuals that may depend on their community conditions as well as their families’ socioeconomic status (Moen, 1979). Research on the risk factors...

  7. PART IV: LOOKING TO THE FUTURE
    • 11 Economic Opportunity and Youth Violence: Conclusions and Implications for Future Research
      (pp. 305-326)
      CURTIS S. FLORENCE and SARAH BETH BARNETT

      In this volume, the authors have sought to identify macroeconomic factors that are associated with youth violence (defined as violence where the victim or perpetrator is 10 to 24 years old) and to explore aspects of the relationship between economic conditions and violence that can be useful in developing interventions to prevent violence.¹ In conducting the project, we departed from the standard textbook defi nition of macroeconomics—economic factors at the national, regional, or international level. Instead, we include economic factors across all levels of aggregation, from the national to the family level. Our reason for doing this was to...

  8. ABOUT THE CONTRIBUTORS
    (pp. 327-330)
  9. INDEX
    (pp. 331-334)