Crime and local inequality in South Africa / Gabriel Demombynes and Berk Özler Demombynes, Gabriel

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Demombynes, Gabriel
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The Journal of Development Economics
Violent crimes - South Africa.; Equality -- Economic aspects; Offenses against property - South Africa.
We examine the effects of local inequality on property and violent crime in South Africa. The findings are consistent with economic theories relating local inequality to property crime and also with sociological theories that imply that inequality leads to crime in general. Burglary rates are 25-43% higher in police precincts that are the wealthiest among their neighbors, suggesting that criminals travel to neighborhoods where the expected returns from burglary are highest. Finally, while we find little evidence that inequality between racial groups fosters interpersonal conflict at the local level, racial heterogeneity itself is highly correlated with crime. JEL classification D63; D74; R12 Keywords: Crime: Inequality: South Africa
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