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Determinants of the crime rate in Argentina during the '90s

  • Ana María Cerro
  • Osvaldo Meloni


Based on Becker’s theoretical model, the present paper estimates econometrically the determinants of the crime rate in Argentina for the 1990-1999 period. Like previous empirical applications for Argentina, a significant deterrence effect was found. However unlike them we find a strong socio-economic effect on the crime rate. The unemployment rate and the income inequality indicator were found to have a positive and significant effects on the crime rate.

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Article provided by University of Chile, Department of Economics in its journal Estudios de Economia.

Volume (Year): 27 (2000)
Issue (Month): 2 Year 2000 (December)
Pages: 297-311

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Handle: RePEc:udc:esteco:v:27:y:2000:i:2:p:297-311
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  1. repec:tpr:qjecon:v:98:y:1983:i:1:p:157-66 is not listed on IDEAS
  2. Gary S. Becker, 1968. "Crime and Punishment: An Economic Approach," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 76, pages 169.
  3. Steven D. Levitt, 1995. "Using Electoral Cycles in Police Hiring to Estimate the Effect of Policeon Crime," NBER Working Papers 4991, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  4. Stigler, George J, 1970. "The Optimum Enforcement of Laws," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 78(3), pages 526-36, May-June.
  5. Cameron, Samuel, 1988. "The Economics of Crime Deterrence: A Survey of Theory and Evidence," Kyklos, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 41(2), pages 301-23.
  6. Andreoni, James, 1995. "Criminal Deterrence in the Reduced Form: A New Perspective on Ehrlich's Seminal Study," Economic Inquiry, Western Economic Association International, vol. 33(3), pages 476-83, July.
  7. Zhang, Junsen, 1997. "The Effect of Welfare Programs on Criminal Behavior: A Theoretical and Empirical Analysis," Economic Inquiry, Western Economic Association International, vol. 35(1), pages 120-37, January.
  8. Ehrlich, Isaac, 1977. "Capital Punishment and Deterrence: Some Further Thoughts and Additional Evidence," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 85(4), pages 741-88, August.
  9. Benson, B.L. & Kim, I. & Rasmussen, D.W., 1992. "Estimating Deterrence Effects: A Public Choice Perspective on the Economics of Crime Literature," Working Papers 1992_12_01, Department of Economics, Florida State University.
  10. Ehrlich, Isaac, 1973. "Participation in Illegitimate Activities: A Theoretical and Empirical Investigation," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 81(3), pages 521-65, May-June.
  11. Osvaldo Meloni, 2005. "Crecimiento potencial y productividad en la Argentina: 1980-1997," Development and Comp Systems 0503001, EconWPA.
  12. Gary S. Becker & George J. Stigler, 1974. "Law Enforcement, Malfeasance, and Compensation of Enforcers," The Journal of Legal Studies, University of Chicago Press, vol. 3(1), pages 1-18, January.
  13. Benson, Bruce L. & Rasmussen, David W. & Kim, Iljoong, 1998. "Deterrence and Public Policy: Trade-Offs in the Allocation of Police Resources," International Review of Law and Economics, Elsevier, vol. 18(1), pages 77-100, March.
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