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Sources of crime in the state of Veracruz: The role of female labor force participation and wage inequality


  • Lorenzo Blanco
  • Sandra Villa


In recent years, crime has become a serious concern in Mexico as its increase has detrimentally affected government institutions and economic growth. There is considerable speculation among policy analysts about the causes of the increase in crime. Whereas some analysts attribute the increase to a rise in income inequality, others believe internal migration and a loss of morals are the roots of criminal behavior. This research shows that at least for the Mexican state of Veracruz, wage inequality and labor force participation have an important impact on crime. When gender is considered, however, the impact is more complicated than it seems. An increase in women's labor force participation decreases the overall number of alleged violent offenders. However, the number of alleged rapists and grievous bodily harm offenders increases as women's wage distribution improves. The results shed light on the gender dimensions of the economics of crime.

Suggested Citation

  • Lorenzo Blanco & Sandra Villa, 2008. "Sources of crime in the state of Veracruz: The role of female labor force participation and wage inequality," Feminist Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 14(3), pages 51-75.
  • Handle: RePEc:taf:femeco:v:14:y:2008:i:3:p:51-75
    DOI: 10.1080/13545700802075143

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    Cited by:

    1. Jonck, Petronella & Goujon, Anne & Testa, Maria Rita & Kandala, John, 2015. "Education and crime engagement in South Africa: A national and provincial perspective," International Journal of Educational Development, Elsevier, vol. 45(C), pages 141-151.
    2. Awais Anwar & Noman Arshed & Sofia Anwar, 2017. "Socio-economic Determinants of Crime: An Empirical Study of Pakistan," International Journal of Economics and Financial Issues, Econjournals, vol. 7(1), pages 312-322.
    3. Yu Liu & Thomas M. Fullerton Jr. & Nathan J. Ashby, 2013. "Assessing The Impacts Of Labor Market And Deterrence Variables On Crime Rates In Mexico," Contemporary Economic Policy, Western Economic Association International, vol. 31(4), pages 669-690, October.
    4. Baharom, A.H. & Habibullah, M.S., 2008. "Crime and Income Inequality: The Case of Malaysia," MPRA Paper 11871, University Library of Munich, Germany.

    More about this item


    Economics of crime; gender wage inequality; women's labor-force participation; JEL Codes: J16; J31; O54;

    JEL classification:

    • J16 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Economics of Gender; Non-labor Discrimination
    • J31 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Wages, Compensation, and Labor Costs - - - Wage Level and Structure; Wage Differentials
    • O54 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economywide Country Studies - - - Latin America; Caribbean


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