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Falling crime in urban centers such as New York, Chicago, Dallas and Los Angeles, coinciding with the worst economic slump since the 1930s, is challenging long-held social theories linking lawlessness to joblessness.
Scholars also suggest that the recession itself, contrary to conventional wisdom, could mute crime as rising unemployment keeps more people at home, where they are more apt to avoid trouble and look out for others as community guardians.
With less income at their disposal, people also venture out less frequently to nightspots during times of economic distress, leaving them less likely to engage in criminal behavior or to become victims of crime, he added