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

Neumayer, Eric (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

Abstract

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: https://journals.sagepub.com/home/jpr
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)
Sets: Departments > Geography and Environment
Date Deposited: 11 Sep 2008 13:09
Last Modified: 09 Jun 2021 11:00
URI: http://eprints.lse.ac.uk/id/eprint/16690

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