Determinantes socioeconómicos y demográficos del crimen en Chile

  • Javier Nuñez
  • Jorge Rivera
  • Xavier Villavicencio
  • Oscar Molina


This paper is a first attempt at analyzing the determinants of crime in Chile. We
employ a static panel for the thirteen regions of Chile from 1988 to 2000. Following
the standard Becker-Ehrlich model, the empirical model includes various
variables linked to incentives to commit crimes, such as legal and illegal
income (from labor and crime, respectively), legal income opportunities (captured
by regional unemployment) and a measure of regional police efficiency,
measured as the ratio of crime reports and captures. In addition, we include
demographic and socioeconomic variables that may also explain the evolution
and dispersion of crime, namely the gender, age and urban-rural composition
of the population, human capital variables (schooling and literacy), and various
relative and absolute poverty measures.
The main conclusion is that the incentive-related variables explain an important
part of the variation of economically-motivated crimes; Robbery, Drugs
and Fraud. However, except for the unemployment rate, these variables do not
explain the variation of other, largely non economically-motivated crimes,
namely Rapes, Murder and Manslaughter, and Physical aggression.
Finally, while the gender, age and urban-rural composition of the population
explain part of the variation of crime, we find that human capital and poverty
measures do not offer robust and conclusive results, which confirms what has
been consistently reported in the empirical literature.
How to Cite
Nuñez, J., Rivera, J., Villavicencio, X., & Molina, O. (2016). Determinantes socioeconómicos y demográficos del crimen en Chile. Estudios de Economía, 30(1), pp. 55-85. Retrieved from