Crime and Income Inequality: The Case of Malaysia
This paper examines the causality between income inequality and crime in Malaysia for the period 1973-2003. Autoregressive Distributed Lag (ARDL) bounds testing procedure is employed to (1) analyze the impact of income inequality on various categories of criminal activities as well as to (2) analyze the impact of various categories of criminal activities on income inequality. Interestingly our results indicate that income inequality has no meaningful relationship with any of the various categories of crime selected, such as total crime, violent crime, property crime, theft and burglary. Crime exhibits neither long-run nor short run relationships with income inequality and they are not cointegrated. It cannot be denied that there is ambiguity in the empirical studies of crime economics regarding various income variables leading to often mixed and contradicting results, which might be a good explanation of this finding.
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