A New Perspective on Violent Crime Burden Index: Evidence from Indian Districts

Chaudhuri, Kausik; Chowdhury, Payel; Reilly, Kevin
January 2013
Social Indicators Research;Jan2013, Vol. 110 Issue 2, p771
Academic Journal
Given limited resource availability in a developing nation like India, faced with high incidences of crime, it is important to optimize on the resources spent in combating crime by channelling them to proper direction. This requires an understanding of the actual and overall level of crime across India. Our paper provides a complete understanding of the various indicators of violent crime and the determinants of these crimes in India using district level data for three census years, namely, 1981, 1991 and 2001. We construct three alternative crime-burden indices. Including a variable like voter turnout in state election at the district level, we document significant impact of public awareness to reduce and combat crime. The constructed crime burden index shows that states located in northern parts of India have more incidences of crime compared to states in the south. We also find that our estimated crime-burden indices tend to report in general a higher level of crime-burden than the average based index. This suggests controlling for the factors beyond population while constructing the aggregate crime-burden index for any country is essential. Our work although is limited to the Indian data, we however, believe that this can be easily applied to various other countries.


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