Crime Distribution and Victim Behavior during a Crime Wave

Rafael Di Tella, Sebastian Galiani and Ernesto Schargrodsky

in The Economics of Crime

Published by University of Chicago Press

Published in print September 2010 | ISBN: 9780226153742
Published online February 2013 | e-ISBN: 9780226153766 | DOI:
Crime Distribution and Victim Behavior during a Crime Wave

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This chapter focuses on the impact of a given increase in crime across different income groups. The research literature has not reached anything like a consensus on this issue because typically, only a small fraction of the population is victimized so that empirical tests often lack the statistical power to detect differences across groups. Another difficulty is that crime-avoiding activities vary across income groups. Thus, a lower victimization rate in one group may not reflect a lower burden of crime, but rather a higher investment in avoiding crime. The authors take advantage of a dramatic increase in crime rates in Argentina during 1990 to document several interesting patterns. They find that the increase in victimization experienced by the poor is larger than the increase endured by the rich.

Keywords: crime; empirical tests; victimization rate; statistical power; income groups; Argentina

Chapter.  11701 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Economic Development and Growth

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