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Is there an electoral-motivated crime rate cycle? Evidence from Argentina


  • Meloni, Osvaldo


In the last three decades Argentina tripled its crime rate boosting safety at the top of mayor concerns of Argentineans which leaves open the question about the behavior of incumbent governors of the 23 provinces about anti-crime measures in the proximity of elections. How do incumbent governors react to escalating crime as elections come closer? This paper investigates electorally-motivated crime rate fluctuations in Argentina for the period 1984-2007. District–level dynamic panel data reveals the existence of an electoral cycle in the total crime rate as well as in property crimes.

Suggested Citation

  • Meloni, Osvaldo, 2012. "Is there an electoral-motivated crime rate cycle? Evidence from Argentina," MPRA Paper 40177, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  • Handle: RePEc:pra:mprapa:40177

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Meloni, Osvaldo, 2011. "Budget Manipulation and Vertical Fiscal Imbalance," MPRA Paper 50694, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    2. Brender, Adi & Drazen, Allan, 2005. "Political budget cycles in new versus established democracies," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 52(7), pages 1271-1295, October.
    3. Daniel Lema, 2008. "Conditional political budget cycles in Argentine provinces," CEMA Working Papers: Serie Documentos de Trabajo. 389, Universidad del CEMA.
    4. Ana María Cerro & Osvaldo Meloni, 2000. "Determinants of the crime rate in Argentina during the '90s," Estudios de Economia, University of Chile, Department of Economics, vol. 27(2 Year 20), pages 297-311, December.
    5. Kenneth Rogoff & Anne Sibert, 1988. "Elections and Macroeconomic Policy Cycles," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 55(1), pages 1-16.
    6. Andrew Dyke, 2007. "Electoral cycles in the administration of criminal justice," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 133(3), pages 417-437, December.
    7. Marcela Eslava, 2006. "The Political Economy of Fiscal Policy: Survey," Research Department Publications 4487, Inter-American Development Bank, Research Department.
    8. Carlos Berdejó & Noam Yuchtman, 2013. "Crime, Punishment, and Politics: An Analysis of Political Cycles in Criminal Sentencing," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 95(3), pages 741-756, July.
    9. Mark P. Jones & Osvaldo Meloni & Mariano Tommasi, 2012. "Voters as Fiscal Liberals: Incentives and Accountability in Federal Systems," Economics and Politics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 24(2), pages 135-156, July.
    10. H. Naci Mocan & Turan G. Bali, 2010. "Asymmetric Crime Cycles," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 92(4), pages 899-911, November.
    11. Levitt, Steven D, 1997. "Using Electoral Cycles in Police Hiring to Estimate the Effect of Police on Crime," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 87(3), pages 270-290, June.
    12. Allan Drazen & Marcela Eslava, 2005. "Electoral Manipulation via Expenditure Composition: Theory and Evidence," NBER Working Papers 11085, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    13. Manuel Arellano & Stephen Bond, 1991. "Some Tests of Specification for Panel Data: Monte Carlo Evidence and an Application to Employment Equations," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 58(2), pages 277-297.
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    Cited by:

    1. Meloni, Osvaldo, 2014. "Does poverty relief spending reduce crime? Evidence from Argentina," International Review of Law and Economics, Elsevier, vol. 39(C), pages 28-38.
    2. Eric Langlais & Marie Obidzinski, 2013. "Elected vs appointed public law enforcers," Working Papers 2013-06, CRESE.
    3. Ursula E. Daxecker & Brandon C. Prins, 2016. "The politicization of crime: electoral competition and the supply of maritime piracy in Indonesia," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 169(3), pages 375-393, December.

    More about this item


    Crime; Electoral cycles; Dynamic Panel Data; Argentina;

    JEL classification:

    • K42 - Law and Economics - - Legal Procedure, the Legal System, and Illegal Behavior - - - Illegal Behavior and the Enforcement of Law
    • D72 - Microeconomics - - Analysis of Collective Decision-Making - - - Political Processes: Rent-seeking, Lobbying, Elections, Legislatures, and Voting Behavior
    • P16 - Economic Systems - - Capitalist Systems - - - Political Economy of Capitalism

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