Working Paper, Inter-American Development Bank, Research Department 408
In this paper we draw a profile of the victims of crime in Latin America. We show that- at least for the case of property crime - the typical victims of crime in Latin America come from rich and middle class households and tend to live in larger cities. We also show that households living in cities experiencing rapid population growth are more likely to be victimized than households living in cities with stable populations. We offer various explanations to these facts, and while we cannot yet provide definite answers to some of the questions raised by this paper, we are at least able to reject some plausible hypotheses. On the whole, our results imply that urban crime in Latin America is, to an important extent, a reflection of the inability of many cities in the region to keep up with the increasing demands for public safety brought about by a hasty and disorderly urbanization process.