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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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    Cited by:

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    3. 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.
    4. Douglas Gollin & Martina Kirchberger & David Lagakos, 2017. "In Search of a Spatial Equilibrium in the Developing World," NBER Working Papers 23916, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    5. 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.
    6. Abate, Gashaw T. & Dereje, Mekdim & Hirvonen, Kalle & Minten, Bart, 2020. "Geography of public service delivery in rural Ethiopia," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 136(C).
    7. Barrett, Christopher B. & Swallow, Brent M., 2006. "Fractal poverty traps," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 34(1), pages 1-15, January.
    8. 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.
    9. Javier Parra Domínguez & Isabel María García Sánchez & Luis Rodríguez Domínguez, 2015. "Relationship between police efficiency and crime rate: a worldwide approach," European Journal of Law and Economics, Springer, vol. 39(1), pages 203-223, February.
    10. 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).
    11. Marcel Fafchamps & Bart Minten, 2004. "Insecurity and welfare," CSAE Working Paper Series 2004-31, Centre for the Study of African Economies, University of Oxford.
    12. Marcel Fafchamps & Forhad Shilpi & The World Bank, 2004. "Isolation and Subjective Welfare," Economics Series Working Papers 216, University of Oxford, Department of Economics.
    13. Shoji, Masahiro, 2013. "Guilt aversion and peer effects in crime: experimental and empirical evidence from Bangladesh," MPRA Paper 44746, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    14. 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.
    15. 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.
    16. 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.
    17. Minten, Bart & Barrett, Christopher B., 2008. "Agricultural Technology, Productivity, and Poverty in Madagascar," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 36(5), pages 797-822, May.
    18. 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).
    19. 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.
    20. 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.

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    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • K42 - Law and Economics - - Legal Procedure, the Legal System, and Illegal Behavior - - - Illegal Behavior and the Enforcement of Law
    • O18 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - Urban, Rural, Regional, and Transportation Analysis; Housing; Infrastructure

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