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A Structural Model of Crime and Inequality in Colombia

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  • François Bourguignon

    (DELTA, The World Bank, and Ecole Normale Supérieure,)

  • Jairo Nuñez

    (CEDE, Universidad de los Audes,)

  • Fabio Sanchez

    (CEDE, Universidad de los Audes,)

Abstract

Economic theory suggests that inequality should influence crime positively. Yet, the evidence in favor of that hypothesis is weak. Pure cross-sectional analyses show significant positive effects but cannot control for fixed effects. Time series and panel data point to a variety of results, but few turn out being significant. The hypothesis maintained in this paper is that it is a specific part of the distribution, rather than the overall distribution as summarized by conventional inequality measures, that is most likely to influence the rate of (property) crime in a given society. Using a simple theoretical model and panel data in seven Colombian cities over a fifteen-year period, a structural model is proposed that permits identifying the precise segment of the population whose relative income best explains time changes in crime. (JEL: K42, D63, O15) Copyright (c) 2003 The European Economic Association.

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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by MIT Press in its journal Journal of the European Economic Association.

Volume (Year): 1 (2003)
Issue (Month): 2-3 (04/05)
Pages: 440-449

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Handle: RePEc:tpr:jeurec:v:1:y:2003:i:2-3:p:440-449

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Cited by:
  1. Paolo Buonanno & Daniel Montolio & Paolo Vanin, 2009. "Does Social Capital Reduce Crime?," Journal of Law and Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 52(1), pages 145-170, 02.
  2. Calvó-Armengol, Antoni & Verdier, Thierry & Zenou, Yves, 2006. "Strong and Weak Ties in Employment and Crime," CEPR Discussion Papers 5448, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  3. Akçomak, İ. Semih & ter Weel, Bas, 2012. "The impact of social capital on crime: Evidence from the Netherlands," Regional Science and Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 42(1-2), pages 323-340.
  4. Vincent Bignon & Eve Caroli & Roberto Galbiati, 2011. "Stealing to Survive: Crime and Income Shocks in 19th Century France," PSE Working Papers halshs-00623804, HAL.
  5. Brosio, Giorgio & Zanola, Roberto, 2006. "Can violence be rational? An empirical analysis of Colombia," POLIS Working Papers 74, Institute of Public Policy and Public Choice - POLIS.
  6. Chioda, Laura & de Mello, João M. P. & Soares, Rodrigo R., 2012. "Spillovers from Conditional Cash Transfer Programs: Bolsa Família and Crime in Urban Brazil," IZA Discussion Papers 6371, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  7. Rodrigo R. Soares & Joana Naritomi, 2010. "Understanding High Crime Rates in Latin America: The Role of Social and Policy Factors," NBER Chapters, in: The Economics of Crime: Lessons for and from Latin America, pages 19-55 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  8. José Raimundo Carvalho & Sylvia Cristina Lavor, 2008. "Repeat criminal victimization and income inequality In Brazil," Anais do XXXVI Encontro Nacional de Economia [Proceedings of the 36th Brazilian Economics Meeting] 200807180945460, ANPEC - Associação Nacional dos Centros de Pósgraduação em Economia [Brazilian Association of Graduate Programs in Economics].

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