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Happiness and Beliefs in Criminal Environments

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  • Rafael Di Tella
  • Robert MacCulloch
  • Hugo Nopo

    ()

Abstract

This paper uses newly available data to describe the distribution of crime victimization and other criminal activities (including drug trafficking and corruption) around the world. The paper then documents a negative (positive) correlation between measures of criminal activity and happiness and measures of positive (negative) emotions. The paper also studies the correlation between ideological beliefs and criminal activity, finding that crime victims are more likely to believe that hard work does not pay and that the government should increase the amount of redistribution to the poor.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Inter-American Development Bank, Research Department in its series Research Department Publications with number 4605.

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Date of creation: Jan 2009
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Handle: RePEc:idb:wpaper:4605

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Keywords: Happiness; crime; beliefs; income distribution;

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References

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  1. Gary S. Becker, 1974. "Crime and Punishment: An Economic Approach," NBER Chapters, in: Essays in the Economics of Crime and Punishment, pages 1-54 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  2. 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.
  3. Powdthavee, Nattavudh, 2003. "Unhappiness and Crime : Evidence from South Africa," The Warwick Economics Research Paper Series (TWERPS) 685, University of Warwick, Department of Economics.
  4. Steven D. Levitt, 1999. "The changing relationship between income and crime victimization," Economic Policy Review, Federal Reserve Bank of New York, issue Sep, pages 87-98.
  5. Winkelmann, Liliana & Winkelmann, Rainer, 1998. "Why Are the Unemployed So Unhappy? Evidence from Panel Data," Economica, London School of Economics and Political Science, vol. 65(257), pages 1-15, February.
  6. Sherwin Rosen, . "The Value of Changes in Life Expectancy," University of Chicago - Population Research Center 87-14, Chicago - Population Research Center.
  7. Blanchflower, David G. & Oswald, Andrew J., 2001. "Well-Being Over Time in Britain and the USA," The Warwick Economics Research Paper Series (TWERPS) 616, University of Warwick, Department of Economics.
  8. Alejandro Gaviria & Carmen Pagés-Serra, 1999. "Patterns of Crime Victimization in Latin America," IDB Publications 4124, Inter-American Development Bank.
  9. Ravallion, Martin & Lokshin, Michael, 2000. "Identifying welfare effects from subjective questions," Policy Research Working Paper Series 2301, The World Bank.
  10. Jens Ludwig & Philip J. Cook, 1999. "The Benefits of Reducing Gun Violence: Evidence from Contingent-Valuation Survey Data," NBER Working Papers 7166, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  11. Fajnzylber, Pablo & Lederman, Daniel & Loayza, Norman, 2002. "Inequality and Violent Crime," Journal of Law and Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 45(1), pages 1-40, April.
  12. Alejandro Gaviria Uribe & Carlos Eduardo Vélez, 2001. "Who Bears the Burden of Crime in Colombia," INFORMES DE INVESTIGACIÓN 003776, FEDESARROLLO.
  13. Alex Michalos & Bruno Zumbo, 2000. "Criminal Victimization and the Quality of Life," Social Indicators Research, Springer, vol. 50(3), pages 245-295, June.
  14. Piketty, Thomas, 1995. "Social Mobility and Redistributive Politics," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 110(3), pages 551-84, August.
  15. Easterlin, Richard A, 2001. "Income and Happiness: Towards an Unified Theory," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 111(473), pages 465-84, July.
  16. Clark, Andrew E & Oswald, Andrew J, 1994. "Unhappiness and Unemployment," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 104(424), pages 648-59, May.
  17. 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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Cited by:
  1. Dedehouanou, Senakpon & Maertens, Miet, 2011. "Participation in Modern Agri-Food Supply Chain in Senegal and Happiness," 2011 International Congress, August 30-September 2, 2011, Zurich, Switzerland 114447, European Association of Agricultural Economists.

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