Crime in the New U.S. Epicenter of COVID-19

40 Pages Posted: 26 Apr 2021

See all articles by Steven James Lee

Steven James Lee

The American College of Financial Services; Northcentral University

Daniel Augusto

Northcentral University

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

Lee, Steven and Augusto, Daniel, Crime in the New U.S. Epicenter of COVID-19 (April 14, 2021). Available at SSRN: or

Steven Lee (Contact Author)

The American College of Financial Services ( email )

270 S. Bryn Mawr Avenue
Bryn Mawr, PA 19010
United States


Northcentral University ( email )

United States


Daniel Augusto

Northcentral University ( email )

Prescott, AZ
United States

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