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What Part Of The Income Distribution Matters For Explaining Property Crime? The Case Of Colombia






Inequality has always been taken as a major explanatory factor of the rate of crime. Yet, the evidence in favor of that hypothesis is weak. Pure cross-sectional analyses show significant positive effects but do not control for fixed effects. Time series and panel data point to a variety of results, but few turn out being significant. The hypothesis maintained in this paper is that it is a specific part of the distribution, rather than the overall distribution as summarized by conventional inequality measures, that is most likely to influence the rate of (property) crime in a given society. Using a simple theoretical model and panel data in 7 Colombian cities over a 20 year period, we design a method that permits identifying the precise segment of the population whose relative income best explains time changes in crime.

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  • Jairo Núñez & Fabio Sánchez & François Bourguignon, 2003. "What Part Of The Income Distribution Matters For Explaining Property Crime? The Case Of Colombia," DOCUMENTOS CEDE 003775, UNIVERSIDAD DE LOS ANDES-CEDE.
  • Handle: RePEc:col:000089:003775

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    1. Robert E. Hall & Charles I. Jones, 1999. "Why do Some Countries Produce So Much More Output Per Worker than Others?," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 114(1), pages 83-116.
    2. Michel Beine & Frédéric Docquier & Hillel Rapoport, 2002. "Brain Drain and LDCs' Growth: Winners and Losers," Working Papers 2002-08, Bar-Ilan University, Department of Economics.
    3. William Carrington & Enrica Detragiache, 1998. "How Big is the Brain Drain?," IMF Working Papers 98/102, International Monetary Fund.
    4. Carrington, William J & Detragiache, Enrica & Vishwanath, Tara, 1996. "Migration with Endogenous Moving Costs," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 86(4), pages 909-930, September.
    5. Barry R. Chiswick, 1999. "Are Immigrants Favorably Self-Selected? An Economic Analysis," University of Chicago - George G. Stigler Center for Study of Economy and State 147, Chicago - Center for Study of Economy and State.
    6. Barry Chiswick, 1999. "Are Immigrants Favorably Self-Selected?," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 89(2), pages 181-185, May.
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    Cited by:

    1. Mejía, Leonardo Bonilla, 2010. "Demografía, juventud y homicidios en Colombia, 1979-2006," REVISTA LECTURAS DE ECONOMÍA, UNIVERSIDAD DE ANTIOQUIA - CIE, August.
    2. Choe, Jongmook, 2008. "Income inequality and crime in the United States," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 101(1), pages 31-33, October.
    3. Felipe Barrera Osorio, 2004. "Dynamics and causes of crime in Colombia," INFORMES DE INVESTIGACIÓN 002387, FEDESARROLLO.
    4. Yoonseok Lee, Donggyun Shin, Kwanho Shin, 2013. "Social Consequences of Economic Segregation," Korean Economic Review, Korean Economic Association, vol. 29, pages 189-210.

    More about this item


    Crime economics;

    JEL classification:

    • C23 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Single Equation Models; Single Variables - - - Models with Panel Data; Spatio-temporal Models


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