Friday, November 22, 2002

LA leads the nation in number of murders Again from Nick Denton, this story on the absolute number of murders per year shows that Los Angeles has claimed that dubious national honor. But note that Detroit leaps off the page with 34 plus murders per 100000 per year. And that brings an important consideration to mind: the more relevant statistic, in my opinion at least, is the per capita murder rate, a category that Washington DC usually leads in. If one were enterprising enough, one could use the Statistical Abstract of the United States along with information on the geography of jurisdictions to create a "murder rate per capita" vs. "% black" or "%Hispanic" scatter plot. [1] We'd keep the murder rate on the y-axis and the %b/H on the x-axis, as befits their status as dependent and independent variables respectively. With blacks in particular, I'd bet the correlation between "%black" and "murder rate" is substantial, and probably a better predictor than most politically correct indicators of criminality (like degree of urbanization or a spatial variant of the Gini coefficient). The point is that demography is statistical destiny. One might have two jurisdictions with similar black/Hispanic population percentages and somewhat different crime rates, but a) they're probably within a fairly small band and b) it's almost a sure bet that they both have a higher crime rate than a locale with a small or nonexistent black/Hispanic population. This might be the explanation that Nick is searching for:

The city's murder rate is, in relation to population, less than half that of Los Angeles or Chicago. One explanation: the New York metropolitan area includes more peaceful suburbs, which fall outside the borders of metropolitan Los Angeles. But still.

Mass Hispanic immigration has changed the demographics of Los Angeles even more than it's changed New York. I'm too busy to look up the demographics now, but I'll do so later today (or one of you readers can do so for me). Who wants to bet that demography = statistical destiny? Note: I believe that intensity of policing is probably the second most important variable after demography in determining the crime rate. In a bivariate regression we could theoretically assess the influence of both variables on criminality simultaneously. But policing intensity is far more difficult to quantify than a simple percentage, as the number of police officers per capita is (in my opinion) a poor surrogate for the dedication of said officers. So for the purposes of this analysis, one can consider geographic variation in policing intensity to be the primary source of vertical displacement off the scatter plot's trend line. [1] Note that I don't use brown to be synonymous with Hispanic as in "driving while black or brown", for what are (i hope) obvious reasons...

posted by godlesscapitalist | 11/22/2002 09:04:00 AM | |

Principles of Population Genetics
Genetics of Populations
Molecular Evolution
Quantitative Genetics
Evolutionary Quantitative Genetics
Evolutionary Genetics
Molecular Markers, Natural History, and Evolution
The Genetics of Human Populations
Genetics and Analysis of Quantitative Traits
Epistasis and Evolutionary Process
Evolutionary Human Genetics
Mathematical Models in Biology
Evolutionary Genetics: Case Studies and Concepts
Narrow Roads of Gene Land 1
Narrow Roads of Gene Land 2
Narrow Roads of Gene Land 3
Statistical Methods in Molecular Evolution
The History and Geography of Human Genes
Population Genetics and Microevolutionary Theory
Population Genetics, Molecular Evolution, and the Neutral Theory
Genetical Theory of Natural Selection
Evolution and the Genetics of Populations
Genetics and Origins of Species
Tempo and Mode in Evolution
Causes of Evolution
The Great Human Diasporas
Bones, Stones and Molecules
Natural Selection and Social Theory
Journey of Man
Mapping Human History
The Seven Daughters of Eve
Evolution for Everyone
Why Sex Matters
Mother Nature
Grooming, Gossip, and the Evolution of Language
R.A. Fisher, the Life of a Scientist
Sewall Wright and Evolutionary Biology
Origins of Theoretical Population Genetics
A Reason for Everything
The Ancestor's Tale
Dragon Bone Hill
Endless Forms Most Beautiful
The Selfish Gene
Adaptation and Natural Selection
Nature via Nurture
The Symbolic Species
The Imitation Factor
The Red Queen
Out of Thin Air
Evolutionary Dynamics
The Origin of Species
The Descent of Man
Age of Abundance
The Darwin Wars
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Of Moths and Men
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How We Decide
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Descartes' Baby
Religion Explained
In Gods We Trust
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A Theory of Religion
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Synaptic Self
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A Separate Creation
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The Math Gene
Explaining Culture
Origin and Evolution of Cultures
Dawn of Human Culture
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Prehistory of the Mind
The Nurture Assumption
The Moral Animal
Born That Way
No Two Alike
Survival of the Prettiest
The Blank Slate
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The Origin Of The Mind
Unto Others
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Before the Dawn
Behavioral Genetics in the Postgenomic Era
The Essential Difference
Geography of Thought
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Keepers of the Keys of Heaven
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Europe After Rome
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God's War
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Divided by the Faith
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From Plato to Nato
China: A New History
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Children of the Revolution
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Power and Plenty
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A Farewell to Alms
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