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Crime and Income Inequality: The Case of Malaysia

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  • Baharom, A.H.
  • Habibullah, M.S.

Abstract

This paper examines the causality between income inequality and crime in Malaysia for the period 1973-2003. Autoregressive Distributed Lag (ARDL) bounds testing procedure is employed to (1) analyze the impact of income inequality on various categories of criminal activities as well as to (2) analyze the impact of various categories of criminal activities on income inequality. Interestingly our results indicate that income inequality has no meaningful relationship with any of the various categories of crime selected, such as total crime, violent crime, property crime, theft and burglary. Crime exhibits neither long-run nor short run relationships with income inequality and they are not cointegrated. It cannot be denied that there is ambiguity in the empirical studies of crime economics regarding various income variables leading to often mixed and contradicting results, which might be a good explanation of this finding.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by University Library of Munich, Germany in its series MPRA Paper with number 11871.

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Date of creation: 10 Sep 2008
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Handle: RePEc:pra:mprapa:11871

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Keywords: Income inequality; crime; bounds testing; Malaysia;

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References

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  1. Chongwoo Choe & John Chisholm, 1998. "Income Variables and the Measures of Gains from Crime," Working Papers 1998.15, School of Economics, La Trobe University.
  2. 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.
  3. Mehanna, Rock-Antoine, 2004. "Poverty and economic development: not as direct as it may seem," Journal of Behavioral and Experimental Economics (formerly The Journal of Socio-Economics), Elsevier, vol. 33(2), pages 217-228, April.
  4. Choe, Jongmook, 2008. "Income inequality and crime in the United States," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 101(1), pages 31-33, October.
  5. Lorenzo Blanco & Sandra Villa, 2008. "Sources of crime in the state of Veracruz: The role of female labor force participation and wage inequality," Feminist Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 14(3), pages 51-75.
  6. Fajnzylber, Pablo & Lederman, Daniel & Loayza, Norman, 2002. "What causes violent crime?," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 46(7), pages 1323-1357, July.
  7. Gary S. Becker, 1968. "Crime and Punishment: An Economic Approach," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 76, pages 169.
  8. M. Hashem Pesaran & Yongcheol Shin & Richard J. Smith, 2001. "Bounds testing approaches to the analysis of level relationships," Journal of Applied Econometrics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 16(3), pages 289-326.
  9. Chiu, W. Henry & Madden, Paul, 1998. "Burglary and income inequality," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 69(1), pages 123-141, July.
  10. Brush, Jesse, 2007. "Does income inequality lead to more crime? A comparison of cross-sectional and time-series analyses of United States counties," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 96(2), pages 264-268, August.
  11. Narayan, Paresh Kumar & Narayan, Seema, 2005. "Estimating income and price elasticities of imports for Fiji in a cointegration framework," Economic Modelling, Elsevier, vol. 22(3), pages 423-438, May.
  12. Ehrlich, Isaac, 1973. "Participation in Illegitimate Activities: A Theoretical and Empirical Investigation," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 81(3), pages 521-65, May-June.
  13. Dahlberg, Matz & Gustavsson, Magnus, 2005. "Inequality and crime: separating the effects of permanent and transitory income," Working Paper Series 2005:19, IFAU - Institute for Evaluation of Labour Market and Education Policy.
  14. Ayse Imrohoroglu & Antonio Merlo & Peter Rupert, 2006. "Understanding the determinants of crime," Working Paper 0602, Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland.
  15. repec:ebl:ecbull:v:11:y:2004:i:1:p:1-9 is not listed on IDEAS
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Cited by:
  1. Chor Foon Tang, 2011. "An exploration of dynamic relationship between tourist arrivals, inflation, unemployment and crime rates in Malaysia," International Journal of Social Economics, Emerald Group Publishing, vol. 38(1), pages 50-69, December.
  2. Hamzah, Siti Nur Zahara & Lau, Evan, 2013. "The Role of Social Factors in Explaining Crime," MPRA Paper 43518, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  3. Lau, Evan & Hamzah, Siti Nur Zahara, 2012. "Crimonometric Analysis: Testing the Deterrence Hypothesis in Sabah," MPRA Paper 39297, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  4. Claudio Detotto & Manuela Pulina, 2013. "Does more crime mean fewer jobs and less economic growth?," European Journal of Law and Economics, Springer, vol. 36(1), pages 183-207, August.

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