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Crime rates and inequality: a study of crime in contemporary China


  • Tsun Se Cheong
  • Yanrui Wu


This paper examines the impact of intra-provincial regional inequality on crime rates in China. The results suggest that the western theories of crime can be applied equally to China. The crime rate is found to be positively correlated with intra-provincial regional inequality, but negatively correlated with the level of education. In addition, it is also observed that the crime rate is positively linked with the level of inflation, unemployment rate, as well as inequality in consumption and employment between the rural and urban sectors. The results lend strong support to Merton's theory and Marxian theory. However, the rational choice theory is not supported.

Suggested Citation

  • Tsun Se Cheong & Yanrui Wu, 2015. "Crime rates and inequality: a study of crime in contemporary China," Journal of the Asia Pacific Economy, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 20(2), pages 202-223, April.
  • Handle: RePEc:taf:rjapxx:v:20:y:2015:i:2:p:202-223
    DOI: 10.1080/13547860.2014.964961

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    Cited by:

    1. Cheng, Zhiming & Smyth, Russell, 2015. "Crime victimization, neighborhood safety and happiness in China," Economic Modelling, Elsevier, vol. 51(C), pages 424-435.
    2. Cheong, Tsun Se & Wu, Yanrui, 2018. "Convergence and transitional dynamics of China's industrial output: A county-level study using a new framework of distribution dynamics analysis," China Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 48(C), pages 125-138.

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