Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)

Legacy Department

Applied Economics and Statistics

Committee Member

Dr. Molly Espey, Committee Chair

Committee Member

Dr. William Bridges

Committee Member

Dr. Patrick Gerard


Food insecurity has been shown to have a negative impact on the health andpsychological well-being of those who suffer from it. Brinkman and Cullen (2011) havealso conducted research that shows food insecurity leads to increased incidences ofviolence and civil conflict in developing nations. However, very little research has beenconducted to examine a potential link between food insecurity and violence in developednations. This paper examines a potential link between food insecurity and the violentcrime rate in the United States at a county level using a least squares regressiontechnique. It also examines how the relationship between food insecurity and violentcrime varies in relation to the level of dependent variables such as the income level andpopulation level of the county. Finally, the model breaks down violent crime intoindividual crimes and tests the impact of food insecurity on the rates of individual crimes.The results show that a one percent increase in food insecurity leads to an increase in theviolent crime rate of approximately 12 percent holding other predictors of violent crimeconstant. The impact that food insecurity has on crime rates also changes based on theincome level and population of the county.



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