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Does poverty relief spending reduce crime? Evidence from Argentina

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  • Meloni, Osvaldo

Abstract

A large body of theoretical empirical research suggests that welfare spending reduces crime. Contrary to this dominant finding, a few recent studies conclude that there is no relationship between several measures of welfare spending and crime. This paper contributes to the debate using data from the Unemployed Heads of Household Program (UHHP), the largest poverty alleviation program launched by the Argentinean government to cope with the deleterious effects of the 2002 crisis. Province-level dynamic panel data reveals that UHHP, featuring conditional cash transfers had a negative impact on crime, particularly on property crimes and its main categories, larceny and robbery. UHHP also diminished aggravated assault but had no influence on murder.

Suggested Citation

  • Meloni, Osvaldo, 2014. "Does poverty relief spending reduce crime? Evidence from Argentina," International Review of Law and Economics, Elsevier, vol. 39(C), pages 28-38.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:irlaec:v:39:y:2014:i:c:p:28-38
    DOI: 10.1016/j.irle.2014.05.002
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    Cited by:

    1. 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.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Crime; Welfare spending; Dynamic panel data; Argentina;

    JEL classification:

    • K4 - Law and Economics - - Legal Procedure, the Legal System, and Illegal Behavior
    • I3 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Welfare, Well-Being, and Poverty
    • D72 - Microeconomics - - Analysis of Collective Decision-Making - - - Political Processes: Rent-seeking, Lobbying, Elections, Legislatures, and Voting Behavior
    • P16 - Economic Systems - - Capitalist Systems - - - Political Economy of Capitalism

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