With most nations around the world suffering from the global financial crisis, this report by the UN looks at the GFC's effect on crime levels around the world.
Within the context of the United Nations Global Pulse initiative on monitoring the impact of crisis on vulnerable populations, this report presents the results of a unique cross-national analysis that aims to investigate the possible effects of economic stress on crime. Using police-recorded crime data for the crimes of intentional homicide, robbery and motor vehicle theft, from fifteen country or city contexts across the world, the analysis examines in particular the period of global financial crisis in 2008/2009. As economic crisis may occur over a relatively short timescale, this period, as well as – in many cases – up to 20 years previously, are examined using high frequency (monthly) crime and economic data.
The report finds that, whether in times of economic crisis or non-crisis, economic factors play an important role in the evolution of crime trends. Out of a total of fifteen countries examined, statistical modelling identifies an economic predictor for at least one crime type in twelve countries (80 percent), suggesting some overall association between economic changes and crime.