Crime in Mexico and Its Persistence over Time

Graciela M. Teruel, University of California, Los Angeles and Universidad Iberoamericana
Luis Rubalcava, University of California, Los Angeles and Centro de Investigación y Docencia Económicas (CIDE)

We use the First (2002) and the Second Waves (2005) of the Mexican Family Life Survey to study incidence of crime in the population and its relation to socioeconomic and demographic variables. We find crime, as measured both by robberies to property and individual assaults, is distributed all over the distribution of income. When crime is measured by the relative economic loss imposed to households, we find the burden is highest among the poor. We further analyze how crime burden falls beyond economic losses by focusing on how the incidence and persistence of crime, both across time and across socio-demographic groups, are related to the people’s safety perception and daily living patterns. We are able to study persistence of these correlates over a three year period by using the panel aspect of the survey, which not only follows individuals but also track movers to their new location.

Presented in Poster Session 4: Inequality, Labor Force, Education, Gender, Race/Ethnicity, Religion, Policy