Date of Award


Document Type

Restricted Thesis

Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts



First Advisor

Monica Das


The relationship between labor market conditions and the crime rate is a highly important topic of discussion that holds policy relevance for countries around the world. Article 3 of the United Nations’ Universal Declaration of Human Rights states that “everyone has the right to life, liberty and security of person”, and high crime rates, particularly violent crime, directly violate these fundamental human rights. According to the Federal Bureau of Investigation’s annual Crime in the US report, in 2015, an estimated 1,197,704 violent crimes were committed in the United States. In the same year, property crimes resulted in losses estimated at 14.3 billion. Although the US witnessed a rapid decline in the rates of violent crime in the 1990s, these figures, coupled with incarceration rates among the highest in the world, demonstrate that crime reduction is still very much an ongoing process. Understanding the determinants of crime from an economic, demographic and sociological perspective is key to lowering the incidence of crime in the US. This research adds to the vast body of crime literature by asking an age-old research question and adapting an empirical approach to the 21st century– what determines the rates of violent and non-violent crime in the United States?


Note: Access to this thesis is restricted to Skidmore community.