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Crime and Poverty: Evidence from a Natural Experiment

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  • Marcel Fafchamps

    (Centre for the Study of African Economies)

  • Bart Minten

    (Cornell University)

Abstract

This paper 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, resulring in a massive - if temporary - increase in poverty. Using original survey data collected in June 2002 at the height of the crisis, we find crime increases with poverty. Our most conclusive results are for crop theft.We also find that an increase in law enforcement personnel reduces cattle theft which, in Madagascar is a form of organized crime. Theft 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, suggesting that isolation raises crime.

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File URL: http://128.118.178.162/eps/dev/papers/0409/0409025.pdf
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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by EconWPA in its series Development and Comp Systems with number 0409025.

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Length: 23 pages
Date of creation: 22 Sep 2004
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:wpa:wuwpdc:0409025

Note: Type of Document - pdf; pages: 23
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Web page: http://128.118.178.162

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Cited by:
  1. Marcel Fafchamps & Bart Minten, 2003. "Public Service Provision, User Fees, and Political Turmoil," Economics Series Working Papers WPS/2003-15, University of Oxford, Department of Economics.
  2. Fafchamps, Marcel & Moser, Christine, 2004. "Crime, Isolation, and Law Enforcement," Working Paper Series UNU-WIDER Research Paper , World Institute for Development Economic Research (UNU-WIDER).

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