Abstract for: The Rise and Fall of the U.S. Homicide Rate towards the End of the 20th Century - A System Dynamics Approach

The goal of this paper is to investigate the underlying structure of the socio- economic system leading to the developments of Homicide Rate in the United States during the last two decades of the twentieth century. Specifically, we focus on the effect of the crack cocaine epidemic, and the arms race among street gangs associated with it, on the mentioned developments. We build a System Dynamic model to study the interconnected fabric of important factors. The analysis shows that the arms race triggered by the growth in crack cocaine market, and the reactive policies directed towards having a more effective police force and a higher number of police can explain the overall pattern of the studied behaviour.