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Happiness and Beliefs in Criminal Environments

Author

Listed:
  • Rafael Di Tella
  • Robert MacCulloch
  • Hugo Nopo

    ()

Abstract

This paper uses newly available data to describe the distribution of crime victimization and other criminal activities (including drug trafficking and corruption) around the world. The paper then documents a negative (positive) correlation between measures of criminal activity and happiness and measures of positive (negative) emotions. The paper also studies the correlation between ideological beliefs and criminal activity, finding that crime victims are more likely to believe that hard work does not pay and that the government should increase the amount of redistribution to the poor.

Suggested Citation

  • Rafael Di Tella & Robert MacCulloch & Hugo Nopo, 2009. "Happiness and Beliefs in Criminal Environments," Research Department Publications 4605, Inter-American Development Bank, Research Department.
  • Handle: RePEc:idb:wpaper:4605
    as

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    File URL: http://www.iadb.org/research/pub_hits.cfm?pub_id=WP-662&pub_file_name=pubWP-662.pdf
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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Blanchflower, David G. & Oswald, Andrew J., 2004. "Well-being over time in Britain and the USA," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 88(7-8), pages 1359-1386, July.
    2. Thomas Piketty, 1995. "Social Mobility and Redistributive Politics," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 110(3), pages 551-584.
    3. Gary S. Becker, 1974. "Crime and Punishment: An Economic Approach," NBER Chapters,in: Essays in the Economics of Crime and Punishment, pages 1-54 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    4. Nattavudh Powdthavee, 2005. "Unhappiness and Crime: Evidence from South Africa," Economica, London School of Economics and Political Science, vol. 72(3), pages 531-547, August.
    5. Robert J. MacCulloch & Rafael Di Tella & Andrew J. Oswald, 2001. "Preferences over Inflation and Unemployment: Evidence from Surveys of Happiness," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 91(1), pages 335-341, March.
    6. Clark, Andrew E & Oswald, Andrew J, 1994. "Unhappiness and Unemployment," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 104(424), pages 648-659, May.
    7. Rosen, Sherwin, 1988. "The Value of Changes in Life Expectancy," Journal of Risk and Uncertainty, Springer, vol. 1(3), pages 285-304, September.
    8. Alex Michalos & Bruno Zumbo, 2000. "Criminal Victimization and the Quality of Life," Social Indicators Research: An International and Interdisciplinary Journal for Quality-of-Life Measurement, Springer, vol. 50(3), pages 245-295, June.
    9. Soares, Rodrigo R., 2006. "The welfare cost of violence across countries," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 25(5), pages 821-846, September.
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    12. 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.
    13. Alejandro Gaviria & Carmen Pagés, 1999. "Patterns of Crime Victimization in Latin America," IDB Publications (Working Papers) 1102, Inter-American Development Bank.
    14. Winkelmann, Liliana & Winkelmann, Rainer, 1998. "Why Are the Unemployed So Unhappy? Evidence from Panel Data," Economica, London School of Economics and Political Science, vol. 65(257), pages 1-15, February.
    15. Easterlin, Richard A, 2001. "Income and Happiness: Towards an Unified Theory," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 111(473), pages 465-484, July.
    16. 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 207-226, May.
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    18. Alejandro Gaviria Uribe & Carlos Eduardo Vélez, 2001. "Who Bears the Burden of Crime in Colombia," INFORMES DE INVESTIGACIÓN 003776, FEDESARROLLO.
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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Dedehouanou, Senakpon & Maertens, Miet, 2011. "Participation in Modern Agri-Food Supply Chain in Senegal and Happiness," 2011 International Congress, August 30-September 2, 2011, Zurich, Switzerland 114447, European Association of Agricultural Economists.
    2. Romero Dario, 2014. "Insecurity or Perception of Insecurity? Urban Crime and Dissatisfaction with Life: Evidence from the Case of Bogotá," Peace Economics, Peace Science, and Public Policy, De Gruyter, vol. 20(1), pages 169-208, January.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Happiness; crime; beliefs; income distribution;

    JEL classification:

    • C83 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Data Collection and Data Estimation Methodology; Computer Programs - - - Survey Methods; Sampling Methods
    • I39 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Welfare, Well-Being, and Poverty - - - Other
    • K42 - Law and Economics - - Legal Procedure, the Legal System, and Illegal Behavior - - - Illegal Behavior and the Enforcement of Law
    • Y80 - Miscellaneous Categories - - Related Disciplines - - - Related Disciplines

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