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Crime, Isolation and Law Enforcement

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  • Marcel Fafchamps
  • Christine Moser

Abstract

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.

Suggested Citation

  • Marcel Fafchamps & Christine Moser, 2003. "Crime, Isolation and Law Enforcement," Journal of African Economies, Centre for the Study of African Economies (CSAE), vol. 12(4), pages 625-671, December.
  • Handle: RePEc:oup:jafrec:v:12:y:2003:i:4:p:625-671
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. Arghya Ghosh & Peter E. Robertson & Marie-Claire Robitaille, 2016. "Does Globalisation Affect Crime? Theory and Evidence," The World Economy, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 39(10), pages 1482-1513, October.
    2. Ali,Rubaba & Barra,Alvaro Federico & Berg,Claudia N. & Damania,Richard & Nash,John D. & Russ,Jason Daniel, 2015. "Transport infrastructure and welfare : an application to Nigeria," Policy Research Working Paper Series 7271, The World Bank.
    3. Gollin, Douglas & Kirchberger, Martina & Lagakos, David, 2017. "In Search of a Spatial Equilibrium in the Developing World," CEPR Discussion Papers 12114, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    4. Shoji, Masahiro, 2013. "Guilt aversion and peer effects in crime: experimental and empirical evidence from Bangladesh," MPRA Paper 44746, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    5. Masahiro Shoji, 2014. "Channels of Peer Effects and Guilt Aversion in Crime: Experimental and Empirical Evidence from Bangladesh," CIRJE F-Series CIRJE-F-923, CIRJE, Faculty of Economics, University of Tokyo.
    6. Pedrosa, Jose & Do, Quy-Toan, 2008. "How does geographic distance affect credit market access in Niger ?," Policy Research Working Paper Series 4772, The World Bank.
    7. Barslund, Mikkel & Rand, John & Tarp, Finn & Chiconela, Jacinto, 2007. "Understanding Victimization: The Case of Mozambique," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 35(7), pages 1237-1258, July.
    8. Elissaios Papyrakis & Pak Hung Mo, 2014. "Fractionalization, Polarization, And Economic Growth: Identifying The Transmission Channels," Economic Inquiry, Western Economic Association International, vol. 52(3), pages 1204-1218, July.
    9. Marcel Fafchamps & Bart Minten, 2004. "Insecurity and welfare," CSAE Working Paper Series 2004-31, Centre for the Study of African Economies, University of Oxford.
    10. Barrett, Christopher B. & Swallow, Brent M., 2006. "Fractal poverty traps," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 34(1), pages 1-15, January.
    11. Nathalie Francken, 2009. "Reducing Corruption in Public Education Programs in Africa:Instruments and Capture in Madagascar," LICOS Discussion Papers 24009, LICOS - Centre for Institutions and Economic Performance, KU Leuven.
    12. Minten, Bart & Barrett, Christopher B., 2008. "Agricultural Technology, Productivity, and Poverty in Madagascar," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 36(5), pages 797-822, May.
    13. Christine Moser, 2008. "Poverty Reduction, Patronage, or Vote Buying? The Allocation of Public Goods and the 2001 Election in Madagascar," Economic Development and Cultural Change, University of Chicago Press, vol. 57(1), pages 137-162, October.
    14. Ogus, Anthony, 2005. "Towards Appropriate Institutional Arrangements for Regulation in Less Developed Countries," Centre on Regulation and Competition (CRC) Working papers 30644, University of Manchester, Institute for Development Policy and Management (IDPM).
    15. Nathalie Francken & Bart Minten & Johan F.M. Swinnen, 2005. "The Impact of Media and Monotoring on Corruptin in Decentralized Public Programs: Evidence from Madagascar," LICOS Discussion Papers 15505, LICOS - Centre for Institutions and Economic Performance, KU Leuven.
    16. Moser, Christine M. & Barrett, Christopher B. & Minten, Bart, 2005. "Missed opportunities and missing markets: Spatio-temporal arbitrage of rice in Madagascar," 2005 Annual meeting, July 24-27, Providence, RI 19338, American Agricultural Economics Association (New Name 2008: Agricultural and Applied Economics Association).
    17. Marcel Fafchamps & Forhad Shilpi, 2004. "Isolation and Subjective Welfare," Economics Series Working Papers 216, University of Oxford, Department of Economics.
    18. Francken, Nathalie & Minten, Bart & Swinnen, Johan F.M., 2009. "Media, Monitoring, and Capture of Public Funds: Evidence from Madagascar," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 37(1), pages 242-255, January.

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • J61 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Mobility, Unemployment, Vacancies, and Immigrant Workers - - - Geographic Labor Mobility; Immigrant Workers
    • N30 - Economic History - - Labor and Consumers, Demography, Education, Health, Welfare, Income, Wealth, Religion, and Philanthropy - - - General, International, or Comparative
    • O15 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - Economic Development: Human Resources; Human Development; Income Distribution; Migration
    • Z13 - Other Special Topics - - Cultural Economics - - - Economic Sociology; Economic Anthropology; Language; Social and Economic Stratification
    • R - Urban, Rural, Regional, Real Estate, and Transportation Economics

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