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Inequality and violent crime: evidence from data on robbery and violent theft

Neumayer, Eric ORCID: 0000-0003-2719-7563 (2005) Inequality and violent crime: evidence from data on robbery and violent theft. Journal of Peace Research, 42 (1). 101 - 112. ISSN 0022-3433

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Identification Number: 10.1177/0022343305049669


This article argues that the link between income inequality and violent property crime might be spurious, complementing a similar argument in prior analysis 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. Our 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 spurious 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 violent crime is far from proven.

Item Type: Article
Official URL:
Additional Information: © 2005 International Peace Research Institute
Divisions: Geography & Environment
Subjects: H Social Sciences > H Social Sciences (General)
J Political Science > JA Political science (General)
Date Deposited: 11 Sep 2008 13:09
Last Modified: 15 Jul 2024 18:00

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