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32 Just. Q. 1 (2015)

handle is hein.journals/jquart32 and id is 1 raw text is: JUSTICE QUARTERLY, 2015
Vol. 32, No. 1, 1 31, http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/07418825.2012.718355
Convergence Revisited: A Multi-Definition,
Multi-Method Analysis of the UCR and the
NCVS Crime Series (1973-2008)
Sami Ansari and Ni He
Inter-study discrepancies in the length of available time series, definition of con-
vergence, rate calculation adjustment, and application of statistica techniques
have contributed to confusions in understanding the relationship between the
uniform crime reports (UCR) and the national crime victimization survey (NCVS).
This study tests and compares the outcomes of UCR-NCVS crime rate conver-
gence in a 36-year time series (1973-2008) using multiple definitions and an
assortment of methods. With adjusted crime rates, our graphic analysis shows
strong evidence of convergence between the two series in all crime categories.
High correlation coefficients (.80+) are obtained in Robbery, Burglary and MV
Theft categories using nondetrended data and the full 36-year time series. Split-
series correlation analyses based on 18 equal-sized (half) series yield not only
very high coefficients (.90+) in the more recent spit-series but also a clear pat-
tern in support of the UCR-NCVS convergence (as correlated rates) conclusion
in all crime categories examined. Similarly, rate deviation regression analyses
confirm that the differences between the UCR and the NCVS crime rates in all
tested categories are decreasing significantly over time and that the two crime
series are in the process of converging. Outcomes derived from the EngLe-Gran-
ger test of cointegration, in contrast, are the most modest, indicating that the
two crime series have only cointegrated in the Burglary category. We suggest
that conclusions on the UCR-NCVS convergence are partly contingent on the
definitional and methodoogical contexts. Convergence studies should be con-
ducted periodicaly not only to monitor the validity of the dual national crime
measures but also to identify questions deserving attentions from both research-
ers and policy- makers.
Keywords UCR; NCVS; crime rate; convergence; spit-series correlation; time-
series analysis; cointegration test
Sami Ansari is an assistant professor in the department of criminal justice at Salem State Univer-
sity, Salem, MA. He worked as a Police Chief in India, as a UN Human Right Monitor in Bosnia and
Herzegovina, and as a Research and Policy Analyst with Boston Police Department. He conducts
research in the areas of policing, crime measurements, comparative criminal justice, and neighbor-
hood criminology. Ni (Phil) He has been a faculty in the School of Criminology and Criminal Justice
at Northeastern University since 2003. His recent research interests are in the areas of comparative
criminology and application of quantitative methods. He is currently completing a book manuscript
on Chinese criminal trials based on a two-year (2009-2011) empirical study funded by the John D.
and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation. Correspondence to: Ni (Phil) He, School of Criminology
and Criminal Justice, Northeastern University, 360 Huntington Avenue, Boston, MA 02115-5000,
USA. E-mail: n.he@neu.edu
o©0                    dCtledege
1- -©, +         2012 Academy of Criminal Justice Sciences

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