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American Economic Review: Vol. 103 No. 3 (May 2013)

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The Impact of Crime and Insecurity on Trust in Democracy and Institutions

Article Citation

Blanco, Luisa, and Isabel Ruiz. 2013. "The Impact of Crime and Insecurity on Trust in Democracy and Institutions." American Economic Review, 103(3): 284-88.

DOI: 10.1257/aer.103.3.284

Abstract

This paper examines the impact of crime and insecurity on support for and satisfaction with democracy and trust in institutions. We use survey data from the Latin American Public Opinion Project (LAPOP) for Colombia during the 2004-2010 period. We find that perceptions of insecurity, crime victimization, being asked for a bribe and being affected by the armed conflict have a negative significant effect on satisfaction with democracy and trust in public institutions. Our findings show an important indirect channel through which crime can hinder development because distrust in institutions is associated with lower levels of social capital.

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Authors

Blanco, Luisa (Pepperdine U and RAND Corporation)
Ruiz, Isabel (Harris Manchester College, U Oxford)

JEL Classifications

D02: Institutions: Design, Formation, and Operations
D72: Political Processes: Rent-seeking, Lobbying, Elections, Legislatures, and Voting Behavior
K42: Illegal Behavior and the Enforcement of Law
O17: Formal and Informal Sectors; Shadow Economy; Institutional Arrangements
Z13: Economic Sociology; Economic Anthropology; Social and Economic Stratification


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