Is Inequality really a Major Cause of Violent Crime? Evidence From a Cross-National Panel of Robbery and Violent Theft Rates
This article argues that the link between income inequality and violent property crime might be spurious, complementing a similar argument in prior an alysis by the author on the determinants of homicide. In contrast, Fajnzylber, Lederman & Loayza (1998; 2002a, b) provide seemingly strong and robust evidence that inequality causes a higher rate of both homicide and robbery/violent theft even after controlling for country-specific fixed effects. Ou r results suggest that inequality is not a statistically significant determinant, unless either country- specific effects are not controlled for or the sample is artificially restricted to a small number of countries. The reason why the link between inequality and violent property crime might be spur ious is that income inequality is likely to be strongly correlated with country- specific fixed effects such as cultural differences. A high degree of inequality might be socially undesirable for any number of reasons, but that it causes vi! olent crime is far from proven.
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:
- Hongyi Li & Lyn Squire & Tao Zhang & Heng-fu Zou, 1999.
"A Data Set on Income Distribution,"
CEMA Working Papers
575, China Economics and Management Academy, Central University of Finance and Economics.
- Fleisher, Belton M, 1970. "The Effect of Income on Delinquency: Reply," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 60(1), pages 257-257, March.
- Bourguignon Francois, 2009. "Crime as a Social Cost of Poverty and Inequality: A Review Focusing on Developing countries," REVISTA DESARROLLO Y SOCIEDAD, UNIVERSIDAD DE LOS ANDES-CEDE, September.
- Paul Collier & Anke Hoeffler, 2004.
"Greed and grievance in civil war,"
Oxford Economic Papers,
Oxford University Press, vol. 56(4), pages 563-595, October.
- Ehrlich, Isaac, 1973. "Participation in Illegitimate Activities: A Theoretical and Empirical Investigation," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 81(3), pages 521-565, May-June.
- Morgan Kelly, 2000.
"Inequality And Crime,"
The Review of Economics and Statistics,
MIT Press, vol. 82(4), pages 530-539, November.
- Gary S. Becker, 1974.
"Crime and Punishment: An Economic Approach,"
in: Essays in the Economics of Crime and Punishment, pages 1-54
National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- 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.
- Tom Doan, "undated". "RATS program to replicate Arellano-Bond 1991 dynamic panel," Statistical Software Components RTZ00169, Boston College Department of Economics.
- 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.
- repec:oxf:wpaper:wps/2002-01 is not listed on IDEAS
- Klaus Deininger & Lyn Squire, 1996.
"A New Data Set Measuring Income Inequality,"
CEMA Working Papers
512, China Economics and Management Academy, Central University of Finance and Economics.
- Fajnzylber, Pablo & Lederman, Daniel & Loayza, Norman, 2002. "What causes violent crime?," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 46(7), pages 1323-1357, July.
When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:wpa:wuwple:0312002. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.
For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (EconWPA)
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.