Gibson, J., & Kim, B. (2008). The effect of reporting errors on the cross-country relationship between inequality and crime. Journal of Development Economics, 87(2), 247-254.
Permanent Research Commons link: https://hdl.handle.net/10289/8277
This paper analyzes reporting errors in crime data to see how they impact econometric estimates, particularly of the key relationship between inequality and crime. Criminal victimization surveys of 140,000 respondents in 37 industrial, transition and developing countries are used. Comparing the crimes experienced by these respondents with those reported to the police, non-random and mean-reverting errors are apparent. Time-varying factors affect the propensity of victims to report crimes to the police, undermining the use of country-specific fixed effects as a means of dealing with measurement error in official crime data. These errors substantially attenuate both cross-sectional and panel estimates of the partial correlation between inequality and crime.
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