Time to burn: Modeling wildland arson as an autoregressive crime function
Six Poisson autoregressive models of order p [PAR(p)] of daily wildland arson ignition counts are estimated for five locations in Florida (1994-2001). In addition, a fixed effects time-series Poisson model of annual arson counts is estimated for all Florida counties (1995-2001). PAR(p) model estimates reveal highly significant arson ignition autocorrelation, lasting up to eleven days, in addition to seasonality and links to law enforcement, wildland management, historical fire, and weather. The annual fixed effects model replicates many findings of the daily models but also detects the influence of wages and poverty on arson, in ways expected from theory. All findings support an economic model of crime.
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