Is New York getting safer?

Thursday, October 27th, 2011

Is New York getting safer? Not really, Tyler Cowen says, citing this passage from The Collapse of American Criminal Justice, by William J. Stuntz:

New York is America’s safest large city, the city that saw crime fall the most and the fastest during the 1990s and the early part of this decade.  Yet New York’s murder rate is 80 percent higher now than it was at the beginning of the twentieth century — notwithstanding an imprisonment rate four times higher now than then.  That crime gap is misleadingly small; thanks to advances in emergency medicine, a large fraction of those early twentieth-century homicide victims would survive their wounds today.  Taking account of medical advances, New York is probably not twice as violent as a century ago, but several times more violent.


  1. Alrenous says:

    And Cowen catches up with Moldbug. Congratulations, Cowen. (Ctrl-f “4700%”)

    I’m being too harsh…I do enjoy independent corroboration. However, Moldbug’s numbers suggest that either Cowen is still underestimating, or NY was a hotbed of villainy even in 1900.

  2. Vimothy says:

    4700% is the increase in indictable offences in the UK, not NY.

  3. Alrenous says:

    Which means if NY only doubled, it was a hotbed of villainy even in 1900, as compared to the UK.

    Currently La Wik’s reported murder rate for NY is nearly four times that of the UK.

    So, extrapolating backwards – and just going for ballpark here – murder rates in NY were 6700% of the UK’s in 1900. A factor of sixty five, or so.

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