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Inequality and crime in Latin America and the Caribbean: new data for an old question

Schargrodsky, Ernesto and Freira, Lucia (2023) Inequality and crime in Latin America and the Caribbean: new data for an old question. Economía, 22 (1). 175 – 202. ISSN 1529-7470

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Identification Number: 10.31389/eco.413

Abstract

The purpose of this paper is to revisit the relationship between inequality and crime, with a focus on the Latin America and Caribbean region. We find a significant, positive, and robust association between these variables. Moreover, inequality is the only variable showing this robust regularity. Education levels, economic activity, income per capita, and poverty show weaker and unstable relationships with crime. With due caution, the use of historical variables to instrument for inequality in crime regressions suggests that a causal interpretation of this relationship is plausible. In addition, the analysis of the distribution of crime victimization indicates that men suffer more crime than women, and that the male-to-female homicide ratio grows with inequality. By socio-economic strata, high-income groups suffer more victimization relative to poorer groups in LAC countries, but the poor suffer more homicides.

Item Type: Article
Official URL: https://economia.lse.ac.uk/
Additional Information: © 2023 The Author(s)
Divisions: LSE
Subjects: H Social Sciences > HC Economic History and Conditions
H Social Sciences > HV Social pathology. Social and public welfare. Criminology
JEL classification: D - Microeconomics > D6 - Welfare Economics > D63 - Equity, Justice, Inequality, and Other Normative Criteria and Measurement
K - Law and Economics > K4 - Legal Procedure, the Legal System, and Illegal Behavior > K40 - General
O - Economic Development, Technological Change, and Growth > O1 - Economic Development > O15 - Human Resources; Human Development; Income Distribution; Migration
O - Economic Development, Technological Change, and Growth > O5 - Economywide Country Studies > O54 - Latin America; Caribbean
Date Deposited: 01 Dec 2023 15:42
Last Modified: 28 May 2024 20:45
URI: http://eprints.lse.ac.uk/id/eprint/120908

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