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Which Dimension of Income Distribution Drives Crime? Evidence from the People's Republic of China

dc.contributor.authorChen Wang
dc.contributor.authorGuanghua Wan
dc.contributor.authorXueliang Zhang
dc.description.abstractIncome distribution is perceived to affect crime (Becker 1968; Thurow 1971; Merlo 2003). Consequently, economists have been modeling crime-employing inequality indicators as one of the explanatory variables, yielding mixed results. This paper argues that income polarization rather than inequality should be taken into account in the context of crime analysis. Technically, in addition to income gaps as captured by inequality indicators, the recently developed polarization index of Duclos, Esteban, and Ray (2004) also measures social segregation, which implies immobility and alienation, both of which are closely related to social tensions and conflicts. Thus, this polarization index is expected to be a better variable in explaining crime. To substantiate our arguments, provincial panel data from the People’s Republic of China (PRC) are used to model the crime–income distribution relationship. Income polarization is found to be positively and significantly associated with crime. When both income polarization and inequality indicators are included in the models, the former remains a positive and significant determinant while the latter becomes insignificant.
dc.publisherAsian Development Bank Institute
dc.titleWhich Dimension of Income Distribution Drives Crime? Evidence from the People's Republic of China
dc.typeWorking Papers
dc.subject.expertIncome Distribution
dc.subject.expertDemographic Indicators
dc.subject.expertSocial Justice
dc.subject.expertPrice stabilization
dc.subject.expertFood prices
dc.subject.expertPrice policy
dc.subject.adbPoverty Analysis
dc.subject.adbParticipatory Poverty Assessment
dc.subject.adbPoverty Reduction Strategy
dc.subject.adbExtreme Poverty
dc.subject.adbEconomic development
dc.subject.adbGrowth And Poverty
dc.subject.naturalSocial change
dc.subject.naturalSocial accounting
dc.subject.naturalInequality of income
dc.subject.naturalEconomic growth
dc.subject.naturalQualilty of Life
dc.subject.naturalOpen price system
dc.subject.naturalPrice fixing
dc.subject.naturalPrice regulation
dc.subject.naturalConsumer price indexes
dc.title.seriesADBI Working Paper Series
dc.title.volumeNo. 704
dc.contributor.imprintAsian Development Bank Institute
oar.themeLabor Migration
oar.adminregionEast Asia Region
oar.countryPeople's Republic of China
oar.authorWang, Chen
oar.authorWan, Guanghua
oar.authorZhang, Xueliang

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  • ADBI Working Papers
    The Asian Development Bank Institute (ADBI) Working Paper series is a continuation of the formerly named Discussion Paper series which began in January 2003. The numbering of the papers continued without interruption or change. ADBI was established in 1997 in Tokyo, Japan, to help build capacity, skills, and knowledge related to poverty reduction and other areas that support long-term growth and competitiveness in developing economies in Asia and the Pacific.

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