Crime, Transitory Poverty, and Isolation: Evidence from Madagascar

Cornell Food and Nutrition Policy Program Working Paper No. 137

33 Pages Posted: 10 Sep 2004

See all articles by Marcel Fafchamps

Marcel Fafchamps

Stanford University - Freeman Spogli Institute for International Studies

Bart Minten

Cornell University - Food and Nutrition Policy Program; Catholic University of Leuven (KUL) - Department of Agro-Engineering and Economics

Date Written: May 2004

Abstract

This paper investigates the relationship between poverty and crime. Following a disputed presidential election, fuel supply to the highlands of Madagascar was severely curtailed in early 2002, resulting in a massive increase in poverty and transport costs. Using original survey data collected in June 2002 at the height of the crisis, we find that crop theft increases with transitory poverty. We also find that an increase in law enforcement personnel locally reduces cattle theft which, in Madagascar, is a form of organized crime. Theft, thus, appears to be used by some of the rural poor as a risk coping strategy. Increased transport costs led to a rise in cattle and crop theft, confirming earlier findings that, in Madagascar, geographical isolation is associated with certain forms of crime.

JEL Classification: K14, I39

Suggested Citation

Fafchamps, Marcel and Minten, Bart, Crime, Transitory Poverty, and Isolation: Evidence from Madagascar (May 2004). Cornell Food and Nutrition Policy Program Working Paper No. 137, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=587403 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.587403

Marcel Fafchamps (Contact Author)

Stanford University - Freeman Spogli Institute for International Studies ( email )

Stanford, CA 94305
United States

Bart Minten

Cornell University - Food and Nutrition Policy Program ( email )

BP 6313
Antananarivo 101
Madagascar
033 11 38520 (Phone)
261 20 2222198 (Fax)

Catholic University of Leuven (KUL) - Department of Agro-Engineering and Economics ( email )

Kardinaal Mercierlaan 92
Heverlee, B-3001
Belgium

Here is the Coronavirus
related research on SSRN

Paper statistics

Downloads
131
Abstract Views
1,757
rank
240,643
PlumX Metrics