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Introduction

Introduction

Chapter:
(p.1) Introduction
Source:
The Economics of Crime
Author(s):
Rafael Di TellaSebastian EdwardsErnesto Schargrodsky
Publisher:
University of Chicago Press
DOI:10.7208/chicago/9780226153766.003.0001

Latin America has one of the highest crime rates in the world. The passivity of the State in the face of growing crime rates has increased skepticism about its ability to combat crime, while at the same time putting the spotlight on the possibility of police corruption and increasing the demand for a more punitive approach. The gap between official data on crime and victimization surveys has been found to be nonrandom, but dependent on socioeconomic levels and corruption perceptions. The book focuses on crime and violence in Latin America that have a complicated origin, with many subtle mechanisms at play, but the economists' reductionist approach allows us to understand the broad trends that serve as context. The authors stress on the fact that research is needed to better understand these experiences, and the conditions that led to the worsening performance in other areas of the region.

Keywords:   Latin America, crime rates, victimization, socioeconomic levels, corruption, violence

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