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The Cost of Avoiding Crime: The Case of Bogotá

In: The Economics of Crime: Lessons for and from Latin America

  • Alejandro Gaviria
  • Carlos Medina
  • Leonardo Morales
  • Jairo Núñez

We use hedonic price models to estimate the value households are willing to pay to avoidviolent crime in the city of Bogotá. We find that households living in the highestsocioeconomic level (stratum 6) pay up to 7.2% of their house values in order to preventaverage homicide rates from increasing in one standard deviation. Households in stratum 5pay up to 2.4% of their house values to prevent homicide rates from increasing. The resultsindicate the willingness to pay for security by households in Bogotá, and additionally,reveal that a pure public good like security, ends up creating urban private markets thatauction security. These markets imply different levels of access to public goods among thepopulation, and actually, the exclusion of the poorest. We find as well evidence of negativecapitalization of the rate of attacks against life, and positive capitalization of the presenceof police authority.

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This chapter was published in:
  • Rafael Di Tella & Sebastian Edwards & Ernesto Schargrodsky, 2010. "The Economics of Crime: Lessons for and from Latin America," NBER Books, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc, number dite09-1, October.
  • This item is provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Chapters with number 11835.
    Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberch:11835
    Contact details of provider: Postal: National Bureau of Economic Research, 1050 Massachusetts Avenue Cambridge, MA 02138, U.S.A.
    Phone: 617-868-3900
    Web page: http://www.nber.orgEmail:


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    1. Leonardo Morales Zurita & Fabio Alberto Arias Arbeláez, 2008. "La calidad de la vivienda en Bogotá: Enfoque de precios hedónicos de hogares y de agregados espaciales," REVISTA SOCIEDAD Y ECONOMIA - CIDSE, UNIVERSIDAD DEL VALLE - CIDSE.
    2. Carlos Medina & Leonardo Morales, . "Stratification and Public Utility Services in Colombia: Subsidies to Households or Distortions on Housing Prices?," Borradores de Economia 422, Banco de la Republica de Colombia.
    3. Fajnzylber, Pablo & Lederman, Daniel & Loayza, Norman, 2002. "Inequality and Violent Crime," Journal of Law and Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 45(1), pages 1-40, April.
    4. Hunt, Jennifer, 2003. "Teen Births Keep American Crime High," IZA Discussion Papers 757, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    5. Topa, Giorgio, 1997. "Social Interactions, Local Spillovers and Unemployment," Working Papers 97-17, C.V. Starr Center for Applied Economics, New York University.
    6. Giles Atkinson & Andrew Healey & Susana Mourato, 2005. "Valuing the costs of violent crime: a stated preference approach," Oxford Economic Papers, Oxford University Press, vol. 57(4), pages 559-585, October.
    7. Alejandro Gaviria & Carmen Pagés-Serra, 1999. "Patterns of Crime Victimization in Latin America," IDB Publications (Working Papers) 4124, Inter-American Development Bank.
    8. Donohue, John J. & Levitt, Steven D., 2000. "The Impact of Legalized Abortion on Crime," Berkeley Olin Program in Law & Economics, Working Paper Series qt00p599hk, Berkeley Olin Program in Law & Economics.
    9. Norman Loayza & Pablo Fajnzylber & Daniel Lederman, 2000. "Crime and Victimization: An Economic Perspective," JOURNAL OF LACEA ECONOMIA, LACEA - LATIN AMERICAN AND CARIBBEAN ECONOMIC ASSOCIATION.
    10. Roback, Jennifer, 1988. "Wages, Rents, and Amenities: Differences among Workers and Regions," Economic Inquiry, Western Economic Association International, vol. 26(1), pages 23-41, January.
    11. Rosen, Sherwin, 1974. "Hedonic Prices and Implicit Markets: Product Differentiation in Pure Competition," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 82(1), pages 34-55, Jan.-Feb..
    12. Ludwig, Jens & Cook, Philip J, 2001. " The Benefits of Reducing Gun Violence: Evidence from Contingent-Valuation Survey Data," Journal of Risk and Uncertainty, Springer, vol. 22(3), pages 207-26, May.
    13. Carlos Medina & Jairo Núñez, 2006. "La Oferta De Servicios Del Sector Financiero Formal En Bogotá," DOCUMENTOS CEDE 003043, UNIVERSIDAD DE LOS ANDES-CEDE.
    14. John J. Donohue & Steven D. Levitt, 1999. "Legalized Abortion and Crime," JCPR Working Papers 104, Northwestern University/University of Chicago Joint Center for Poverty Research.
    15. Sherwin Rosen, 2002. "Markets and Diversity," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 92(1), pages 1-15, March.
    16. Heinemann, Alessandra & Verner, Dorte, 2006. "Crime and violence in development : a literature review of Latin America and the Caribbean," Policy Research Working Paper Series 4041, The World Bank.
    17. Gyourko, Joseph & Kahn, Matthew & Tracy, Joseph, 1999. "Quality of life and environmental comparisons," Handbook of Regional and Urban Economics, in: P. C. Cheshire & E. S. Mills (ed.), Handbook of Regional and Urban Economics, edition 1, volume 3, chapter 37, pages 1413-1454 Elsevier.
    18. Roback, Jennifer, 1982. "Wages, Rents, and the Quality of Life," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 90(6), pages 1257-78, December.
    19. Fajnzylber, Pablo & Lederman, Daniel & Loayza, Norman, 2002. "What causes violent crime?," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 46(7), pages 1323-1357, July.
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