Institutional Legitimacy and Crime in Venezuela
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Crime rates in Venezuela increased considerably at the end of the 1970s, and even more so from the mid-1990s onward. Likewise, the country’s major institutions experienced considerable change, moving from constant growth through crisis to a gradual loss of legitimacy. Based on LaFree’s model of institutional legitimacy and crime, the author tests the hypothesis that the declining legitimacy of key institutions was associated with increasing crime rates. Government statistics are used to measure institutional legitimacy and crime rates for the period between 1957 and 2003. Statistical analysis based on auto-regressive integrated moving average (ARIMA) techniques and cross-correlation finds no relationship between the two sets of variables, with the partial exception of robbery. These findings should be considered provisional rather than definitive because alternative variables, additional observations, and alternative statistical techniques might have produced different results. However, alternative explanations of crime rates should also be explored.
|Institución||Universidad de Los Andes (ULA)|