This paper empirically assesses the effect of socio-economic and demographic variables on violent crime in the United States. Using national-level time-series data over the period 1960-2000, I estimate an unrestricted vector autoregressive (VAR) model individually for overall violent crime, murder, rape and assault. The results indicate that there is no long-run relationship among the examined variables, but a significant short-run relationship holds. Imprisonment growth, income inequality, alcohol consumption, and racial composition of the male youth population are shown to influence the short-run behaviour of violent crime
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