Crime in the New U.S. Epicenter of COVID-19
40 Pages Posted: 26 Apr 2021
Date Written: April 14, 2021
In the latter half of 2020, Los Angeles was dubbed by the media and academicians as the latest epicenter of COVID-19 in the United States. Using time-series analysis on Los Angeles Police Department crime data from 2017 through 2020, this paper tests the economic theory of crime, routine activities theory, social isolation theory, household bargaining theory, and structural vulnerability theory to determine whether they accurately predicted specific crime rate movements in the wake of COVID-19 in the city of Los Angeles. Economic theory of crime and routine activities theory were mostly supported. Social isolation theory and household bargaining theory were partially supported. Structural vulnerability theory was not supported. Implications and future research are also discussed.
Keywords: COVID-19, crime rates, property crimes, crimes against the person, fraud, sex crimes, violent crimes
JEL Classification: I18, C22, C7, H12
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation