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The Great American Crime Decline$
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Franklin E. Zimring

Print publication date: 2006

Print ISBN-13: 9780195181159

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: May 2012

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195181159.001.0001

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Progeny of the 1990s

Progeny of the 1990s

Three New Explanations of Decline

(p.73) 4 Progeny of the 1990s
The Great American Crime Decline

Franklin E. Zimring

Oxford University Press

This chapter considers the three theorized causes of crime declines in increasing order of novelty—first police, then the rise and fall of crack cocaine, and finally the impact of increased access to abortion that, advocates claim, caused a shift in the crime-risk profile of birth cohorts in the 1970s. After an introductory discussion of the definition and special problems of theories that were inspired by the 1990s' decline, unequal attention is given to the three explanations covered. Over half of the chapter addresses the thesis that crime declines in the 1990s were caused by the coming-of-age of population cohorts that were altered by the impact of elective abortion in the United States in the 1970s.

Keywords:   crime decline, crime rates, police, crack cocaine, abortion, crime risk profile, population cohorts

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