Date of Graduation


Document Type


Degree Name

Bachelor of Science in Business Administration

Degree Level





Farmer, Amy


Every place in the world experiences a level of crime within its borders, but there is much contention as to which factors lead to crime. Economic conditions, due to their association with poverty, are frequently discussed as a possible contributors to crime rates. This analysis examines four macroeconomic variables (GDP per capita, unemployment rate, inflation rate, and interest rate) and their effect on crime rates (violent, property, and total). After thoroughly reviewing the philosophical nature of crime, the current economic conditions through the lens of the selected macroeconomic variables, and the present criminal landscape throughout the United States and the rest of the world, this study focuses on the United States’ data from 1961 to 2019. Regression analyses indicate that GDP per capita (change) was not a statistically significant variable for any type of crime rate; additionally, unemployment rate was not a statistically significant variable for violent crime. Overall, economic conditions, as defined by the selected (and significant) variables, can explain 36% of the variance in violent crime rates, 63% of the variance in property crime rates, and 60% of the variance in total crime rates. The data, in conjunction with numerous corroborating sources, shows that changes in economic conditions contribute to changes in crime rates. Additionally, the regressions suggest that property crimes are more responsive to changes in economic conditions than violent crimes.


Economic Conditions, Crime, Criminal Theory, Macroeconomic Variables, COVID-19, service learning

Regression Analysis Data - Honors Thesis.xlsx (65 kB)
The data used in the regression analyses. The outputs are also included here.