Natural Disasters and Social Order: Modeling Crime Outcomes in Florida

March 2009 (VOL. 27, NO. 1)

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This study analyzes the spatial distribution of crime outcomes at the county scale in Florida as a function of natural disasters. Geographic Information Systems (GIS) and conditional fixed effects negative binomial statistical techniques are used. Four crime outcomes are analyzed: index crimes, property crimes, violent crimes, and domestic violence crimes. Adjusting for socio-demographic and social order variables, we find that natural disasters significantly decrease levels of reported index, property, and violent crimes, but significantly increase the expected count of reported domestic violence crimes.