Criminologist Richard Rosenfeld talks crime rates with news media outlets.

Budget cuts, unemployment rates and an increase in food and fuel prices might lead you to believe crime would be at an all time high. But according to statistics released by the FBI Monday, crime rates in 2010 declined.

Richard Rosenfeld, Curators’ Professor of Criminology and Criminal Justice at the University of Missouri–St. Louis, was quoted Sept. 17 in an article on about the decrease in crime rates across the country.

“Crime rates tend to rise during inflationary periods and fall, or experience a slower increase, when the inflation rate drops,” Rosenfeld told “Inflation ran at historically low levels during the recent economic downturn — prices actually decreased in 2009 for the first time in over 50 years.”

“A key mechanism linking inflation to crime is the price of stolen goods,” he added. “Price increases make cheap, stolen goods more attractive and therefore strengthen incentives for those who supply the underground markets with stolen goods. The reverse occurs when inflation is low.”

The article spurred other articles on this topic that quoted Rosenfeld, which ran in several publications including The Wall Street Journal and St. Louis Post-Dispatch.

Visit to read the entire story. Visit to read The Wall Street Journal story and to read the St. Louis Post-Dispatch story.

Jen Hatton

Jen Hatton