The Impact of Insecurity and Crime on Democracy and Trust in Institutions

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American Economic Review


This paper examines the impact of crime and insecurity on support for and satisfaction with democracy and trust in institutions. We use survey data from the Latin American Public Opinion Project (LAPOP) for Colombia during the 2004-2010 period. We find that perceptions of insecurity, crime victimization, being asked for a bribe and being affected by the armed conflict have a negative significant effect on satisfaction with democracy and trust in public institutions. Our findings show an important indirect channel through which crime can hinder development because distrust in institutions is associated with lower levels of social capital.


Volume 103, Number 3