Crime and Local Inequality in South Africa

62 Pages Posted: 20 Apr 2016

See all articles by Gabriel Demombynes

Gabriel Demombynes

University of California, Berkeley; World Bank

Berk Ozler

World Bank - Development Economics Research Group (DECRG)

Date Written: November 2002

Abstract

Demombynes and Özler examine the effects of local inequality on property and violent crime in South Africa. Their findings are consistent with economic theories relating inequality to property crime, and also with sociological theories that imply that inequality leads to crime in general. Burglary rates are 20-30 percent higher in police station jurisdictions that are the wealthiest among their neighbors, suggesting that criminals travel to neighborhoods where the expected returns from burglary are highest. The authors do not find evidence that inequality between racial groups fosters interpersonal conflict at the local level.

This paper - a product of the Poverty Team, Development Research Group - is part of a larger effort in the group to understand the relationship between income inequality and various outcomes, such as crime, health, and pro-poor growth.

Suggested Citation

Demombynes, Gabriel and Ozler, Berk, Crime and Local Inequality in South Africa (November 2002). World Bank Policy Research Working Paper No. 2925. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=636287

Gabriel Demombynes (Contact Author)

University of California, Berkeley

310 Barrows Hall
Berkeley, CA 94720
United States

World Bank

1818 H Street, N.W.
Washington, DC 20433
United States

Berk Ozler

World Bank - Development Economics Research Group (DECRG) ( email )

1818 H Street, N.W.
Washington, DC 20433
United States

HOME PAGE: http://econ.worldbank.org/staff/bozler

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