Crime, Inequality and Subsidized Housing: Evidence from South Africa

61 Pages Posted: 8 Mar 2021

See all articles by Roxana Manea

Roxana Manea

The Graduate Institute, Geneva

Patrizio Piraino

University of Cape Town - Faculty of Commerce - School of Economics

Martina Viarengo

Graduate Institute of International and Development Studies (IHEID); Harvard University - Harvard Kennedy School (HKS)

Date Written: 2021

Abstract

We study the relationship between housing inequality and crime in South Africa. We create a novel panel dataset combining information on crimes at the police station level with census data. We find that housing inequality explains a significant share of the variation in both property and violent crimes, net of spillover effects, time and district fixed effects. An increase of one standard deviation in housing inequality explains between 9 and 13 percent of crime increases. Additionally, we show that a prominent post-apartheid housing program for low-income South Africans led to a reduction in inequality and a decline in violent crimes. Together, these findings suggest the important role that equality in housing conditions can play in the reduction of crime in an emerging economy context.

JEL Classification: D630, O100, K140

Suggested Citation

Manea, Roxana and Piraino, Patrizio and Viarengo, Martina, Crime, Inequality and Subsidized Housing: Evidence from South Africa (2021). CESifo Working Paper No. 8914, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3798935 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.3798935

Roxana Manea (Contact Author)

The Graduate Institute, Geneva ( email )

Geneva
United States

Patrizio Piraino

University of Cape Town - Faculty of Commerce - School of Economics ( email )

South Africa

Martina Viarengo

Graduate Institute of International and Development Studies (IHEID) ( email )

Maison de la paix
Chemin Eugène-Rigot 2
Geneva, 1202
Switzerland

Harvard University - Harvard Kennedy School (HKS)

79 John F. Kennedy Street
Cambridge, MA 02138
United States

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