IDEAS home Printed from
MyIDEAS: Log in (now much improved!) to save this article

The effects of trust on victimization in Colombia

Listed author(s):
  • José Cuesta

    (Institute of Public Policy, Georgetown University)

  • Erik Alda

    (Department of Justice, Law and Society, American University)

The allegedly complex relationship between trust and victimization has rarely been modeled and, when done, the effect of trust on victimization has been found not statistically significant. This study finds otherwise, estimating an instrumental model with community data from Cali, Colombia. Cali’s dismal levels of victimization were only second to Medellin, the most violent city of the world in the 1990s. But Cali also pioneered a strategy of social capital formation as the backbone of a deliberate public policy to crack down on high levels of crime. This article first develops a model of victimization that includes interpersonal trust as determinant and then instruments interpersonal trust with district-level average trust. We argue that an individual-specific level of trust in his or her community members does not affect the community level of interpersonal trust in the margin. However, the levels – or perceived levels – of interpersonal trust in the community may affect the specific level of trust of an individual in other members of that community, along with personal characteristics and experience. Using GMM estimates, this study finds evidence of a relationship between interpersonal trust and victimization, statistically significant and negative in sign. The result is robust across specifications of trust, victimization, and estimating techniques. We conclude that increasing trust in trusting communities contributes to reducing victimization in its own right, although the effect is modest. Consequently, strengthening interpersonal trust is another bullet to combat victimization but it is not a silver bullet.

If you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.

File URL:
Download Restriction: no

Article provided by Peace Research Institute Oslo in its journal Journal of Peace Research.

Volume (Year): 49 (2012)
Issue (Month): 6 (November)
Pages: 833-846

in new window

Handle: RePEc:sae:joupea:v:49:y:2012:i:6:p:833-846
Contact details of provider: Web page:

No references listed on IDEAS
You can help add them by filling out this form.

This item is not listed on Wikipedia, on a reading list or among the top items on IDEAS.

When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:sae:joupea:v:49:y:2012:i:6:p:833-846. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (SAGE Publications)

If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.

If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link to it, you can help with this form.

If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

This information is provided to you by IDEAS at the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis using RePEc data.