Working Papers

Happiness and Beliefs in Criminal Environments

CODE: WP-662
AUTHOR(s): Di Tella, Rafael , MacCulloch, Robert , Ñopo, Hugo
PUBLISHED: December 2008
RELATED TOPICS: Poverty Reduction and Labor


This paper uses newly available data to describe the distribution of crime victimization and other criminal activities (including drug trafficking and corruption) around the world. The paper then documents a negative (positive) correlation between measures of criminal activity and happiness and measures of positive (negative) emotions. The paper also studies the correlation between ideological beliefs and criminal activity, finding that crime victims are more likely to believe that hard work does not pay and that the government should increase the amount of redistribution to the poor.

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