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Inequality and Crime: Separating the Effects of Permanent and Transitory Income

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  • Matz Dahlberg
  • Magnus Gustavsson

Abstract

Earlier studies on income inequality and crime have typically used total income or total earnings. However, it is quite likely that it is the changes in permanent rather than in transitory income that affects crime rates. The purpose of this paper is therefore to disentangle the two effects by, first, estimating region-specific inequality in permanent and transitory income and, second, estimating crime equations with the two separate income components as explanatory variables. The results indicate that it is important to separate the two effects; while an increase in the inequality in permanent income yields a positive and significant effect on total crimes and three different property crimes, an increase in the inequality in transitory income has no significant effect. Using a traditional, aggregate, measure of income yields insignificant effects on crime. Copyright (c) Blackwell Publishing Ltd and the Department of Economics, University of Oxford, 2007.

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  • Matz Dahlberg & Magnus Gustavsson, 2008. "Inequality and Crime: Separating the Effects of Permanent and Transitory Income," Oxford Bulletin of Economics and Statistics, Department of Economics, University of Oxford, vol. 70(2), pages 129-153, April.
  • Handle: RePEc:bla:obuest:v:70:y:2008:i:2:p:129-153
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    1. Matz Dahlberg & Magnus Gustavsson, 2008. "Inequality and Crime: Separating the Effects of Permanent and Transitory Income," Oxford Bulletin of Economics and Statistics, Department of Economics, University of Oxford, vol. 70(2), pages 129-153, April.
    2. M. B. Gordon & J. R. Iglesias & V. Semeshenko & J. P. Nadal, 2009. "Crime and punishment: the economic burden of impunity," The European Physical Journal B: Condensed Matter and Complex Systems, Springer;EDP Sciences, vol. 68(1), pages 133-144, March.
    3. Scott Drewianka, 2010. "Cross-Sectional Variation In Individuals' Earnings Instability," Review of Income and Wealth, International Association for Research in Income and Wealth, vol. 56(2), pages 291-326, June.
    4. Ahad, Muhammad, 2016. "Nexus Between Income Inequality, Crime, Inflation and Poverty: New Evidence from Structural Breaks for Pakistan," MPRA Paper 72429, University Library of Munich, Germany, revised 2016.
    5. Gustavsson, Magnus, 2013. "Permanent versus transitory wage differentials and the inequality-hours hypothesis," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 121(3), pages 537-541.
    6. Islam,Asif Mohammed, 2016. "An exploration of the relationship between police presence, crime, and business in developing countries," Policy Research Working Paper Series 7560, The World Bank.
    7. Cecilia Alonso, 2018. "Transferencias Monetarias y Crimen. Evidencia para la última década en Montevideo," Documentos de Investigación Estudiantil (students working papers) 18-02, Instituto de Economía - IECON.
    8. Jie Chen, 2006. "The Dynamics of Housing Allowance Claims in Sweden: A Discrete Time-Hazard Analysis," European Journal of Housing Policy, Taylor and Francis Journals, vol. 6(1), pages 1-29, April.
    9. Baharom, A.H. & Habibullah, M.S. & Royfaizal, R. C, 2008. "Convergence of violent crime in the United States: Time series test of nonlinear," MPRA Paper 11926, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    10. Bach, Stefan & Corneo, Giacomo & Steiner, Viktor, 2012. "Optimal top marginal tax rates under income splitting for couples," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 56(6), pages 1055-1069.
    11. Catalina Gómez Toro & Hermilson Velásquez & Joaquín Andrés Urrego & Juan David Valderrama, 2014. "Efecto de los Ingresos Permanentes sobre el Delito: Un Enfoque Espacial y un Caso de Aplicación," DOCUMENTOS DE TRABAJO CIEF 010900, UNIVERSIDAD EAFIT.
    12. André De Palma & Alexandre Guimard, 2014. "Urbanism, an overview," Working Papers hal-00969574, HAL.
    13. Yu Liu & Thomas M. Fullerton Jr. & Nathan J. Ashby, 2013. "Assessing The Impacts Of Labor Market And Deterrence Variables On Crime Rates In Mexico," Contemporary Economic Policy, Western Economic Association International, vol. 31(4), pages 669-690, October.
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    15. Hallberg, Daniel, 2006. "Cross-national differences in income poverty among Europe´s 50+," Working Paper Series 2006:14, Uppsala University, Department of Economics.
    16. Baumann, Florian & Friehe, Tim, 2015. "Status concerns as a motive for crime?," International Review of Law and Economics, Elsevier, vol. 43(C), pages 46-55.
    17. Johansson, Fredrik & Klevmarken, Anders, 2006. "Explaining the size and nature of response in a survey on health status and economic standard," Working Paper Series 2006:2, Uppsala University, Department of Economics.
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    19. Baharom, A.H. & Habibullah, M.S., 2008. "Is crime cointegrated with income and unemployment?: A panel data analysis on selected European countries," MPRA Paper 11927, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    20. Dongxu Wu & Zhongmin Wu, 2012. "Crime, inequality and unemployment in England and Wales," Applied Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 44(29), pages 3765-3775, October.
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    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • C33 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Multiple or Simultaneous Equation Models; Multiple Variables - - - Models with Panel Data; Spatio-temporal Models
    • D31 - Microeconomics - - Distribution - - - Personal Income and Wealth Distribution
    • J39 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Wages, Compensation, and Labor Costs - - - Other
    • K40 - Law and Economics - - Legal Procedure, the Legal System, and Illegal Behavior - - - General

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