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Measurement Error and the Effect of Inequality on Experienced versus Reported Crime

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Author Info

  • John Gibson

    ()
    (University of Waikato)

  • Bonggeun Kim

    (Hanyang University)

Abstract

This paper analyzes measurement errors in crime data to see how they impact econometric estimates, particularly of the key relationship between inequality and crime. Criminal victimization surveys of 140,000 respondents in 37 industrial, transition and developing countries are used. Comparing the crimes experienced by these respondents with those reported to the police, non-random and mean-reverting measurement errors are apparent. Some time-varying factors may also affect the propensity of victims to report crimes to the police, undermining the use of country-specific fixed effects as a means of dealing with measurement errors in official crime data. These measurement errors substantially attenuate both cross-sectional and panel estimates of the effect of inequality on crime.

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File URL: ftp://mngt.waikato.ac.nz/RePEc/wai/econwp/0605.pdf
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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by University of Waikato, Department of Economics in its series Working Papers in Economics with number 06/05.

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Length: 27 pages
Date of creation: 31 Jul 2006
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:wai:econwp:06/05

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Keywords: crime; inequality; measurement error;

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References

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  1. Alberto Alesina & Eliana La Ferrara, . "Participation in Heterogeneous Communities," Working Papers 151, IGIER (Innocenzo Gasparini Institute for Economic Research), Bocconi 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. Fajnzylber, Pablo & Lederman, Daniel & Loayza, Norman, 2002. "What causes violent crime?," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 46(7), pages 1323-1357, July.
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  5. La Ferrara, Eliana & Alesina, Alberto, 2000. "Participation in Heterogeneous Communities," Scholarly Articles 4551796, Harvard University Department of Economics.
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  7. Ziggy MacDonald, 2000. "The impact of under-reporting on the relationship between unemployment and property crime," Applied Economics Letters, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 7(10), pages 659-663.
  8. Soares, Rodrigo R., 2004. "Development, crime and punishment: accounting for the international differences in crime rates," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 73(1), pages 155-184, February.
  9. Demombynes, Gabriel & Ozler, Berk, 2002. "Crime and local inequality in South Africa," Policy Research Working Paper Series 2925, The World Bank.
  10. Klaus Deininger & Lyn Squire, 1996. "A New Data Set Measuring Income Inequality," CEMA Working Papers 512, China Economics and Management Academy, Central University of Finance and Economics.
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  13. Beata Gruszczynska & Marek Gruszczynski, 2005. "Crime in Enlarged Europe: Comparison of Crime Rates and Victimization Risks," Transition Studies Review, Springer, vol. 12(2), pages 337-345, 09.
  14. Thorbecke, Erik & Charumilind, Chutatong, 2002. "Economic Inequality and Its Socioeconomic Impact," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 30(9), pages 1477-1495, September.
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Cited by:
  1. Cameron, Lisa A. & Shah, Manisha, 2012. "Can Mistargeting Destroy Social Capital and Stimulate Crime? Evidence from a Cash Transfer Program in Indonesia," IZA Discussion Papers 6736, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).

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