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Shared Legacies, Disparate Outcomes: Why American South Border Cities Turned the Tables on Crime and Their Mexican Sisters Did Not

  • Pedro H. Albuquerque

    (Texas A&M International University)

The article evaluates crime trends in south border American and Mexican sister cities using panel data analysis. The region offers a unique assessment opportunity since cities are characterized by shared cultural and historical legacies, institutional heterogeneity, and disparate crime outcomes. Higher homicide rates on the Mexican side seem to result from deficient law enforcement. Higher population densities in Mexican cities appear to also be a factor. Cultural differences, on the other hand, have been decreasing, and apparently do not play a substantial role. The homicide rate dynamics show opportunistic clustering of criminal activity in Mexican cities, while no clustering is found on the American side. Crime also appears to spill from Mexican cities into American cities. Homicide rates on both sides of the border have been falling faster than countrywide rates, leading, in the case of American cities, and against stereotypes, to rates below the countrywide rate in 2001.

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File URL: http://econwpa.repec.org/eps/le/papers/0511/0511002.pdf
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Paper provided by EconWPA in its series Law and Economics with number 0511002.

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Length: 45 pages
Date of creation: 22 Nov 2005
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:wpa:wuwple:0511002
Note: Type of Document - pdf; pages: 45
Contact details of provider: Web page: http://econwpa.repec.org

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  1. Kugler, Maurice & Verdier, Thierry & Zenou, Yves, 2003. "Organized Crime, Corruption and Punishment," Working Paper Series 600, Research Institute of Industrial Economics.
  2. Reames, Benjamin, 2003. "Police Forces in Mexico: A Profile," University of California at San Diego, Center for U.S.-Mexican Studies qt1sq4g254, Center for U.S.-Mexican Studies, UC San Diego.
  3. Ramos, José María, 2003. "Managing Transborder Cooperation on Public Security: The Tijuana-San Diego Region," University of California at San Diego, Center for U.S.-Mexican Studies qt6d13m8rc, Center for U.S.-Mexican Studies, UC San Diego.
  4. Bronars, Stephen G & Lott, John R, Jr, 1998. "Criminal Deterrence, Geographic Spillovers, and the Right to Carry Concealed Handguns," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 88(2), pages 475-79, May.
  5. Morgan Kelly, 2000. "Inequality And Crime," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 82(4), pages 530-539, November.
  6. Miron, Jeffrey A, 2001. "Violence, Guns, and Drugs: A Cross-Country Analysis," Journal of Law and Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 44(2), pages 615-33, October.
  7. 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 270-90, June.
  8. Roberto Coronado & Pia M. Orrenius, 2003. "The impact of illegal immigration and enforcement on border crime rates," Working Papers 0303, Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas.
  9. Lott, John R, Jr & Mustard, David B, 1997. "Crime, Deterrence, and Right-to-Carry Concealed Handguns," The Journal of Legal Studies, University of Chicago Press, vol. 26(1), pages 1-68, January.
  10. Dezhbakhsh, Hashem & Rubin, Paul H, 1998. "Lives Saved or Lives Lost? The Effects of Concealed-Handgun Laws on Crime," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 88(2), pages 468-74, May.
  11. 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.
  12. Ramos, José María & Shirk, David Ph.D., 2003. "Binational Collaboration in Law Enforcement and Public Security Issues on the U.S.-Mexican Border," University of California at San Diego, Center for U.S.-Mexican Studies qt92f7c3cw, Center for U.S.-Mexican Studies, UC San Diego.
  13. Becker, Gary S, 1993. "Nobel Lecture: The Economic Way of Looking at Behavior," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 101(3), pages 385-409, June.
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