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Crime, Isolation and Law Enforcement

  • Marcel Fafchamps
  • Christine Moser

This paper investigates the relationship between criminal activity and geographical isolation. Using data from Madagascar, we show that, after we control for population composition and risk factors, crime increases with distance from urban centres and, with few exceptions, decreases with population density. In Madagascar, crime and insecurity are associated with isolation, not urbanisation. This relationship is not driven by placement of law enforcement personnel which is shown to track crime but fails to reduce feelings of insecurity in the population. Other risk factors have effects similar to those discussed in the literature on developed countries. We find a positive association between crime and the presence of law enforcement personnel, probably due to reporting bias. Law enforcement personnel helps solve crime but appears unable to prevent it. Copyright 2003, Oxford University Press.

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Article provided by Centre for the Study of African Economies (CSAE) in its journal Journal of African Economies.

Volume (Year): 12 (2003)
Issue (Month): 4 (December)
Pages: 625-671

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Handle: RePEc:oup:jafrec:v:12:y:2003:i:4:p:625-671
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  1. Isaac Ehrlich, 1996. "Crime, Punishment, and the Market for Offenses," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 10(1), pages 43-67, Winter.
  2. Marcel Fafchamps & Bart Minten, 2002. "Crime and Poverty: Evidence From a Natural Experiment," Economics Series Working Papers WPS/2002-23, University of Oxford, Department of Economics.
  3. Andre, Catherine & Platteau, Jean-Philippe, 1998. "Land relations under unbearable stress: Rwanda caught in the Malthusian trap," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 34(1), pages 1-47, January.
  4. Isaac Ehrlich, 1975. "On the Relation between Education and Crime," NBER Chapters, in: Education, Income, and Human Behavior, pages 313-338 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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  6. Ehrlich, Isaac & Brower, George D, 1987. "On the Issue of Causality in the Economic Model of Crime and Law Enforcement: Some Theoretical Considerations and Experimental Evidence," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 77(2), pages 99-106, May.
  7. Lederman, Daniel & Loayza, Norman & Menendez, Ana Maria, 2002. "Violent Crime: Does Social Capital Matter?," Economic Development and Cultural Change, University of Chicago Press, vol. 50(3), pages 509-39, April.
  8. Elbers, Chris & Lanjouw, Jean O. & Lanjouw, Peter, 2002. "Micro-level estimation of welfare," Policy Research Working Paper Series 2911, The World Bank.
  9. Freeman, Scott, 1996. "Equilibrium Income Inequality among Identical Agents," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 104(5), pages 1047-64, October.
  10. Edward L. Glaeser & Bruce Sacerdote & Jose A. Scheinkman, 1995. "Crime and Social Interactions," NBER Working Papers 5026, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  11. Jean-Yves Duclos & Joan Esteban & Debraj Ray, 2004. "Polarization: Concepts, Measurement, Estimation," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 72(6), pages 1737-1772, November.
  12. Eric Rasmusen, 1995. "``Stigma and Self-Fulfilling Expectations of Criminality''," Law and Economics 9506001, EconWPA.
  13. 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.
  14. Morgan Kelly, 2000. "Inequality And Crime," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 82(4), pages 530-539, November.
  15. Pradhan, Menno & Ravallion, Martin, 1999. "Demand for public safety," Policy Research Working Paper Series 2043, The World Bank.
  16. Blume, Lawrence, 2002. "Stigma and Social Control," Economics Series 119, Institute for Advanced Studies.
  17. Jeff Grogger & Mike Willis, 1998. "The Introduction of Crack Cocaine and the Rise in Urban Crime Rates," NBER Working Papers 6353, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  18. Norman Loayza & Pablo Fajnzylber & Daniel Lederman, 2000. "Crime and Victimization: An Economic Perspective," JOURNAL OF LACEA ECONOMIA, LACEA - LATIN AMERICAN AND CARIBBEAN ECONOMIC ASSOCIATION.
  19. Sah, R.K., 1990. "Social Osmosis And Patterns Of Crime: A Dynamic Economic Analysis," Papers 609, Yale - Economic Growth Center.
  20. Moshe Buchinsky & Jinyong Hahn, 1998. "An Alternative Estimator for the Censored Quantile Regression Model," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 66(3), pages 653-672, May.
  21. Ehrlich, Isaac, 1973. "Participation in Illegitimate Activities: A Theoretical and Empirical Investigation," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 81(3), pages 521-65, May-June.
  22. Buchinsky, Moshe, 1995. "Estimating the asymptotic covariance matrix for quantile regression models a Monte Carlo study," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 68(2), pages 303-338, August.
  23. Chris Elbers & Jean O. Lanjouw & Peter Lanjouw, 2003. "Micro--Level Estimation of Poverty and Inequality," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 71(1), pages 355-364, January.
  24. Demombynes, Gabriel & Ozler, Berk, 2005. "Crime and local inequality in South Africa," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 76(2), pages 265-292, April.
  25. C. Barrett & K. Smith & P. Box, 2001. "Not Necessarily In The Same Boat: Heterogeneous Risk Assessment Among East African Pastoralists," Journal of Development Studies, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 37(5), pages 1-30.
  26. Marcel Fafchamps & Bart Minten, 2001. "Social Capital and Agricultural Trade," American Journal of Agricultural Economics, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association, vol. 83(3), pages 680-685.
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