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Homicide Rates in a Cross-Section of Countries: Evidence and Interpretations

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  • Julio H. Cole
  • Andrés Marroquín Gramajo

Abstract

This study uses a regression analysis to explore the cross-country variation in homicide rates for a large sample of countries. It starts by identifying seven significant regional variables, to which traditional socioeconomic, cultural, and institutional variables are added and tested. The importance of institutions, culture, and other factors affecting homicide rates is discussed. One unexpected finding is a curious relationship between the level of education and homicide rates: while an increase in male education tends to reduce homicide rates, an increase in female education tends to increase homicides. Several possible interpretations for this phenomenon are proposed. The study points to relatively unexplored areas of research in order to better understand homicide variation around the world. Copyright (c) 2009 The Population Council, Inc..

Suggested Citation

  • Julio H. Cole & Andrés Marroquín Gramajo, 2009. "Homicide Rates in a Cross-Section of Countries: Evidence and Interpretations," Population and Development Review, The Population Council, Inc., vol. 35(4), pages 749-776.
  • Handle: RePEc:bla:popdev:v:35:y:2009:i:4:p:749-776
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    3. William Easterly & Ross Levine, 1997. "Africa's Growth Tragedy: Policies and Ethnic Divisions," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 112(4), pages 1203-1250.
    4. Eric Neumayer, 2003. "Good Policy Can Lower Violent Crime: Evidence from a Cross-National Panel of Homicide Rates, 1980–97," Journal of Peace Research, Peace Research Institute Oslo, vol. 40(6), pages 619-640, November.
    5. Barro, Robert J & Lee, Jong-Wha, 2001. "International Data on Educational Attainment: Updates and Implications," Oxford Economic Papers, Oxford University Press, vol. 53(3), pages 541-563, July.
    6. Eric Neumayer, 2005. "Inequality and Violent Crime: Evidence from Data on Robbery and Violent Theft," Journal of Peace Research, Peace Research Institute Oslo, vol. 42(1), pages 101-112, January.
    7. 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.
    8. Halvorsen, Robert & Palmquist, Raymond, 1980. "The Interpretation of Dummy Variables in Semilogarithmic Equations," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 70(3), pages 474-475, June.
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    Cited by:

    1. Simplice Asongu & Paul Acha-Anyi, 2017. "The Murder Epidemic: A Global Comparative Study," Working Papers 17/059, African Governance and Development Institute..
    2. Simplice Asongu & Paul Acha-Anyi, 2017. "The Murder Epidemic: A Global Comparative Study," Working Papers 17/059, African Governance and Development Institute..
    3. Wolf, Achim & Gray, Ron & Fazel, Seena, 2014. "Violence as a public health problem: An ecological study of 169 countries," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 104(C), pages 220-227.
    4. Blaine Robbins & David Pettinicchio, 2012. "Social Capital, Economic Development, and Homicide: A Cross-National Investigation," Social Indicators Research: An International and Interdisciplinary Journal for Quality-of-Life Measurement, Springer, vol. 105(3), pages 519-540, February.
    5. Beall, Jo & Fox, Sean, 2011. "PD4: mitigating conflict and violence in Africa’s rapidly growing cities," LSE Research Online Documents on Economics 41855, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library.

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