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Demographics, Youth and Homicides in Colombia, 1979-2006


  • Leonardo Bonilla Mejía


During the sixties, Colombian population grew faster than ever. Children that were born during that particular period became young adults in the decades of the eighties and nineties, the same years in which homicide rates reached historical maximums. The purpose of this paper is to clarify the relationship between these two phenomena. Can the explosive increases in homicide rates be attributed to demographic change? Cohort-level data on population and homicide victims is used to explore two mechanisms through which population forces could affect homicide rates; these mechanisms are composition effect and age-specific effect.

Suggested Citation

  • Leonardo Bonilla Mejía, 2010. "Demographics, Youth and Homicides in Colombia, 1979-2006," Lecturas de Economía, Universidad de Antioquia, Departamento de Economía, issue 72, pages 103-140.
  • Handle: RePEc:lde:journl:y:2010:i:72:p:103-140

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    Homicide; demographics; youth; ecological fallacy; Colombia;

    JEL classification:

    • K42 - Law and Economics - - Legal Procedure, the Legal System, and Illegal Behavior - - - Illegal Behavior and the Enforcement of Law
    • J13 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Fertility; Family Planning; Child Care; Children; Youth
    • I18 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Health - - - Government Policy; Regulation; Public Health
    • O54 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economywide Country Studies - - - Latin America; Caribbean


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