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Insecurity or Perception of Insecurity? Urban Crime and Dissatisfaction with Life: Evidence from the Case of Bogotá

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  • Romero Dario

    ()
    (Economics, Universidad del Rosario, Calle 12c No. 4-69, Bogotá, Colombia)

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    Abstract

    In recent literature, life satisfaction and welfare have been extensively studied. However, limited attention has been given to the effect that crime may have over these variables. Using the case of Bogotá this paper shows that urban crime rates, specially murder rate, have a positive impact on individuals’ life dissatisfaction. This effect seems to be mediated by the general perception of insecurity and not by the households’ victimization. In particular the perception of insecurity has a great impact on the unhappiness of those households that changed their perceptions because of the criminal activity. The conclusion of this paper is that it is necessary not only to reduce the crime rates, but also to generate good security perceptions.

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    Bibliographic Info

    Article provided by De Gruyter in its journal Peace Economics, Peace Science, and Public Policy.

    Volume (Year): 20 (2014)
    Issue (Month): 1 (January)
    Pages: 169-208

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    Handle: RePEc:bpj:pepspp:v:20:y:2014:i:1:p:169-208:n:6

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    1. Nattavudh Powdthavee, 2005. "Unhappiness and Crime: Evidence from South Africa," Economica, London School of Economics and Political Science, vol. 72(3), pages 531-547, 08.
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    7. Christian Bjørnskov & Axel Dreher & Justina Fischer, 2008. "Cross-country determinants of life satisfaction: exploring different determinants across groups in society," Social Choice and Welfare, Springer, vol. 30(1), pages 119-173, January.
    8. Robert J. MacCulloch & Rafael Di Tella & Andrew J. Oswald, 2001. "Preferences over Inflation and Unemployment: Evidence from Surveys of Happiness," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 91(1), pages 335-341, March.
    9. Bruno Frey & Simon Luechinger & Alois Stutzer, 2009. "The life satisfaction approach to valuing public goods: The case of terrorism," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 138(3), pages 317-345, March.
    10. Easterlin, Richard A, 2001. "Income and Happiness: Towards an Unified Theory," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 111(473), pages 465-84, July.
    11. Soares, Rodrigo R., 2006. "The welfare cost of violence across countries," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 25(5), pages 821-846, September.
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