Added: August 16, 2014 – Last updated: August 16, 2014


Authors: Suncica Vujic, Jacques Commandeur, and Siem Jan Koopman

Title: Structural Intervention Time Series Analysis of Crime Rates

Subtitle: The Impact of Sentence Reform in Virginia

Place: Amsterdam and Rotterdam

Publisher: Tinbergen Institute

Year: 2012

Pages: 31pp.

Series: Tinbergen Institute Discussion Paper, No. 12-007/4

Language: English

Keywords: 20th Century, 21st Century | U.S. History | Prosecution: Statistics


Link: Tinbergen Institute (Free Access)

Link: EconStor (Free Access)

Link: Social Science Research Network (Free Access)



Sunčica Vujić, Department of Economics, University of

Jacques Commandeur, Department of Econometrics and Operations Research, Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam

Siem Jan Koopman, Department of Econometrics and Operations Research, Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam

Abstract: »We adopt a structural time series analysis to investigate the impact of parole abolition and sentence reform in Virginia on reported crime rates. The Commonwealth of Virginia abolished parole and reformed sentencing for all felony offences committed on or after January 1, 1995. To examine the impact of Virginia's change in legislation on reported crime rates from 1995 onwards, we perform an intervention time series analysis based on structural time series models. We empirically find that the change in legislation has significantly reduced the burglary rates and to a lesser extent the murder rates in Virginia. For other violent crimes such as rape and aggravated assault the evidence of a significant reduction in crime rates is less evident or is not found. This empirical study for Virginia also provides an illustration of how an effective intervention time series analysis can be carried out in crime studies.« (Source: Working Paper)


  1 Introduction (p. 2)
  2 Changes in criminal justice system of Virginia (p. 4)
  3 Data description (p. 8)
  4 Methodology (p. 11)
  5 Results (p. 16)
    5.1 Univariate structural time series analysis results (p. 16)
      5.1.1 Salient features of the crime series (p. 16)
      5.1.2 Step intervention analysis results (p. 18)
      5.1.3 Smooth break intervention analysis results (p. 19)
    5.2 Bivariate intervention analysis results (p. 19)
  6 Discussion (p. 23)
  References (p. 28)