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Crime has tangible economic costs. It also has less understood and likely sizable intangible costs. In particular, widespread crime has the potential to weaken trust between citizens and institutions, undermine government reform efforts, and become an obstacle to development. Yet, the impact of crime on trust remains relatively unexplored in the literature. This paper analyzes the potential interrelationship between individual victimization and several measures of trust, including trust in formal public institutions and trust in informal private networks. It is based on a representative sample of individuals in 19 countries in Latin America. The empirical strategy is intended to mitigate overt biases and assess sensitivity to hidden biases. The results show that victimization has a substantial negative effect on trust in the local police but no robust effect on informal institutions. Governments may henceforth need to redouble efforts to reduce victimization and the resulting erosion of trust in public institutions.
This paper develops a framework for analyzing different policymaking styles, their causes and their consequences in Latin America, finding that lower institutionalization and greater use of alternative political technologies (APTs) are more likely the lower the cost of using these technologies, the higher the potential damage they can cause, the lower the wealth of the economy, and the more asymme ... (View publication)
This paper argues that where institutions are strong, actors are more likely to participate in the political process through institutionalized arenas, while where they are weak, protests and other unconventional means of participation become more appealing. This relationship is explored empirically by combining country-level measures of institutional strength with individual-level information on p ... (View publication)
This paper expands the micro-foundations of the traditional greed and grievance non-cooperative model of civil conflict between a government and a rebel group.First, the paper’s model allows for greed and grievance to be orthogonal, so that they may affect each other. Second, the model allows for the reaction curves of both parties in non-cooperative games to be substitutes and not inevitably co ... (View publication)
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