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Femicide in Latin America: An economic approach

Carolina Álvarez-Garavito () and H.Nicolás Acosta-González

Revista Desarrollo y Sociedad, 2021, vol. 88, issue 1, 11-42

Abstract: Justification: The rising cases of femicide across Latin America have pushed governments to enact specific laws criminalizing this gender-based murder to deter violence and crime against women. However, given the lack of data, the effect of these legislations is unknown. We aim to understand the causes and mechanisms of femicide across Latin American countries, as well as the possible effect of the legislation on femicide rate. We propose an economic approach that combines ideas proposed by Becker’s economics of crime and bargaining household models to understand the mechanisms behind femicide. The proposed approach suggests that legislation has a positive effect on reducing the number of murders of women by increasing the likelihood of the criminal being convicted and punished, thus changing these criminals’ incentives to commit the crime. However, government inaction and impunity towards femicide may impede the effectiveness of legislation in deterring criminal behavior. As data on femicide becomes available, the effect of the legislation on femicide rates could be estimated using a difference in difference method.

Keywords: Intimate Partner Violence; Legislation; Microeconomics; LatinAmerica (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: K14 N36 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2021
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