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Analyse des déterminants de la criminalité dans les pays en développement

Abstract : Crime and violence has become one of the main social issue in developing countries, particularly in Latin America. This thesis studies the determinants of violence in developing countries and tries to understand how to reduce it. It concludes that vulnerability (inequality, low education, instability of income) has to be reduced in order to make developing countries less violent.
The chapter 1 proposes a review of the theoretical literature on the determinants of crime and presents a theoretical model of criminal behavior, founded on a Beckerian setting, in which the concept of relative deprivation is introduced. This model allows for the possibility of crime committed without any economic motivation. This chapter also discusses the impact of education upon crime.

With the help of spatial econometrics, the chapter 2 proposes estimations of the determinants of crime rates. The sample is a cross-section of the 723 municipalities of Minas Gerais, a Brazilian State, for the year 2000. Main results are as follow:
• Basic education reduces significantly violent crime against persons but not crime against property. Both kind of crime are positively influenced by income inequality. It implies that policies that aim at reducing income inequality are needed to reduce crime in Minas Gerais, as well as are policies promoting universal basic education.
• There exists a significantly positive spatial autocorrelation among municipal crime rates. Moreover, property crime spreads much more than crime against persons. These spatial features of crime suggest that, in order to limit diffusion of property crime, anti-crime policies should concern suburbs in priority.

The chapter 3 studies the issue of the choice between public education and police expenditures when fighting crime. To do so, it uses a computable general equilibrium (CGE) model calibrated for Minas Gerais which includes a specific representation of the labor market, built in order to take into account the presence of involuntary unemployment. Main results suggest that public spending in education and police expenditures have comparable deterrent effects, strongly dependent on other supporting policies. For example raising the minimum wage seems more efficient (to reduce crime) than a simple lump-sum transfer to households.

Finally, the chapter 4 studies the impact of macro-economic instability on crime. It suggests that this influence comes from disappointed anticipations, which, to some extent, generates frustration and possibly crime. This hypothesis of a direct effect of macro instability is tested for homicide and for robbery on a panel of developed and developing countries for six three-year periods from 1980 to 1997. Results suggest a positive effect of previous macro-economic instability on homicide. Instability also increases robbery, but only in non-OECD countries, suggesting that the effect of instability on property crime depends on the institutional environment. These results supplement arguments in favor of policies that aim to reduce macro vulnerability to shocks in developing countries.
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Submitted on : Thursday, December 7, 2006 - 12:11:34 PM
Last modification on : Tuesday, February 23, 2021 - 9:42:02 AM
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Frédéric Puech. Analyse des déterminants de la criminalité dans les pays en développement. Economies et finances. Université d'Auvergne - Clermont-Ferrand I, 2005. Français. ⟨hal-00015393⟩



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