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Crime, Transitory Poverty, and Isolation: Evidence from Madagascar

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  • Fafchamps, Marcel
  • Minten, Bart

Abstract

This article investigates the relationship between poverty and crime. Following a disputed presidential election, fuel supply to the highlands of Madagascar was severely curtailed in early 2002, resulting in a massive increase in poverty and transport costs. Using original survey data collected in June 2002 at the height of the crisis, we find that crop theft increases with transitory poverty. Theft thus appears to be used by some of the rural poor as a risk-coping strategy. Increased transport costs led to a rise in cattle and crop theft, confirming earlier findings that in Madagascar geographical isolation is associated with certain forms of crime. We also find that an increase in law enforcement personnel locally reduces cattle theft that in Madagascar is a form of organized crime.

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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by University of Chicago Press in its journal Economic Development and Cultural Change.

Volume (Year): 54 (2006)
Issue (Month): 3 (April)
Pages: 579-603

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Handle: RePEc:ucp:ecdecc:y:2006:v:54:i:3:p:579-603

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Web page: http://www.journals.uchicago.edu/EDCC/

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Cited by:
  1. Mani, Anandi & Iyer, Lakshmi & Mishra, Prachi & Topalova, Petia, 2011. "The Power of Political Voice: Women's Political Representation and Crime in India," CAGE Online Working Paper Series 63, Competitive Advantage in the Global Economy (CAGE).
  2. Louis Hotte & Randy McFerrin & Douglas Wills, 2011. "On the Dual Nature of Weak Property Rights," Working Papers 1103E, University of Ottawa, Department of Economics.
  3. Yamamura, Eiji, 2009. "Formal and informal deterrents of crime in Japan: Roles of police and social capital revisited," Journal of Behavioral and Experimental Economics (formerly The Journal of Socio-Economics), Elsevier, vol. 38(4), pages 611-621, August.
  4. Marcel Fafchamps & Bart Minten, 2004. "Insecurity and Welfare," Economics Series Working Papers WPS/2004-31, University of Oxford, Department of Economics.
  5. Fafchamps, Marcel & Shilpi, Forhad, 2006. "Isolation and Subjective Welfare," CEPR Discussion Papers 6001, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  6. Barslund, Mikkel & Rand, John & Tarp, Finn & Chiconela, Jacinto, 2007. "Understanding Victimization: The Case of Mozambique," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 35(7), pages 1237-1258, July.
  7. Francken, Nathalie & Minten, Bart & Swinnen, Johan F.M., 2009. "Media, Monitoring, and Capture of Public Funds: Evidence from Madagascar," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 37(1), pages 242-255, January.
  8. Minten, Bart & Barrett, Christopher B., 2008. "Agricultural Technology, Productivity, and Poverty in Madagascar," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 36(5), pages 797-822, May.
  9. Yoshito Takasaki, 2011. "Fraud and Poverty: Exploring Ex Ante Victim Data," Tsukuba Economics Working Papers 2011-002, Economics, Graduate School of Humanities and Social Sciences, University of Tsukuba.

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