An Investigation into Relationship Between Low Income And The Crime Rate

Posted on April 29, 2023 by Cheapest Assignment

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Literature review

Undoubtedly crime is very much prevalent in every country in various forms.  There are suggestions regarding the existence of a relationship between individuals with low income and criminals by drawing fine accusations and criticisms on the moral and ethical foundations.  This could lead to connotations that people with low income or no income are innately criminal. This research paper delves into such controversial issues by analyzing of crime and law for crime from the economic point of view and addresses the query of the individual utility of welfare. Optimization through the maximized allocation of time and resources according to the associated returns is relevant. According to Becker’s suggestions, various determinants of crime in India and a great deal of empirical and theoretical investigation have passed through this issue. However, there is a gap in the literature in the context of developing countries like India.

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Social and Economic Factors

Particularly, ecology, opportunity, and strain theories try to lay down associations between the social and economic factors of society and individuals with criminal tendencies and behavior.  On the other hand, learning and social control theories associate these factors with the failure of society to control criminal tendencies and the way an individual gets involved in criminal activities. These arrangements of the theoretical findings provide various associations between low income and crime (Bharadwaj, 2014). Dealing with the investigation of the relative impact of low income or poverty with the specific degree of socio-economic and deterrence variables provides insights into the rate of crime in India. By the relative deprivation theory, people tend to commit criminal activities to send a signal to the country that the system in which they are forced to survive is inherently partial against them along with their socioeconomic position in Indian society. Hence, even people with legitimate income and employment and earning opportunities will be tending towards committing criminal activities in case of deprivation of the basic requirements and inequality in general in Indian society. However, all the surveys in this area denote that poverty, unemployment and inequality, and other socio–economic factors and crime are associated positively. Some of the theories postulate a very negative association between relative or absolute poverty and crime with the basic explanation denoting that crime subsidies with extensive and severe poverty by reducing the returns to criminal activities.  According to Sjoquist, 1973; DeLorenzo, 1983; Cullen, 1988; Cohen, Kluegel, and Land (1981: 511) inequality in income leads to employment, housing, and patterns of activity by individuals belonging to the upper-income earners that reduce criminal opportunity. Returns to the opportunity and crime theories denote that, regulating the general distribution of income, a minimization in complete poverty is related to a proportional growth in all the groups of income including the groups of potential offenders and victims.

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Growth Of Productivity

According to “Crime and Economic Growth: Evidence from India” by Surender Kumar, crime in India has been influencing economic activities in two major ways: impacting the level of output such as loss due to the lost working lives,  days, or damages to the property; by impacting the rate of growth of per capita income that can happen because of the foregone institutional and investments changes which affect the growth of productivity (Kumar, 2013). In the initial stage, both have a significant impact on the potential for growth of the economy of India.  Negative implications of crime on the output level may have transitory impacts and may reverse its state of priority; however, the implications of growth are not reversed and make the economy of India lag permanently (Kumar, 2013).  The estimation procedure of lag structure assists in the examination of whether a criminal incident has a persistent or temporary impact on economic activities and hence, whether a crime has a growth or level impact or both at the same time. Lakshmi Iyer and team,  the number of crimes committed in India which is directed against the disadvantaged group is a broad measure of the welfare of the people in terms of income (Iyer et al., 2010).  It acts as a measuring unit of their status in society and economy and the empowerment level in Indian society which is beyond the government’s direct reach. Security of property is mostly an essential condition for the success of the efforts at developing the welfare of low-income groups.

Poverty and Crime

According to the journal “Poverty and Crime: Evidence from Rainfall and Trade Shocks in India” by Laksmi Iyer and Petia Topalova, the districts in India which were more exposed to the great income opportunities by the liberalization of trade, the pre-reform mix of employment experienced very slow and gradual progress in the reduction of poverty and slower growth in the economy (Iyer & Topalova, 2014). The journal has further sought after the study of these Indian districts regarding any incidence of different kinds of crime as an outcome of reforms in trade. It was found that the larger the loss was in the protection of trade experienced by a district, the higher the incidents of criminal activities.   The similarity in the assortment of the patterns of the response to criminal behavior is relevant to two different variation sources in income and poverty suggesting that the channel of income is an essential mechanism behind the observed relationship between income and crime. The flexibility of crime in regards to poverty and shocks in income by using both the determinants of the well-being of individuals in rural India. According to “The Etiology of Crime in India” by Arvind Verma and Manish Kumar, the tradition of extended families is causing increased levels of poverty in families and this is observed to be a condition that persists in the society of India, mostly in the rural regions (Arvind & Manish, 2008).  India has been growing in the sector of urbanization and the scarcity of space.  The tradition of having extended and huge families have increased the scarcity in finances of the families which provides them with fewer opportunities to have essential facilities for their home and the children. This is further deepened by the scarcity of opportunities in the employment sector of India. Ultimately, the people belonging to such kind of family structure get lured by the idea of engaging in criminal activities such as theft and burglary to gain material things for their family. This in turn is increasing the crime rate in the states of India.  It has also been observed that the children belonging to such families S  are also getting aware of such criminal activities right from their early childhood days and are engaging in various crimes. As most of the people in India are slum dwellers and belong to the category of “below the poverty line”, it is very much relevant that these families are unable to make their children get into schools and give them proper education.  It was observed that many instances are present regarding the involvement of people belonging to poor sections of the society of India in high-level criminal activities such as human and child trafficking, assaults, disorderly conduct, vandalism, etc. the journal has also illustrated the relevance of caste discrimination during the provisions of employment opportunities to the people belonging to the lower income groups which result in a decrease in the income levels of such families.  This creates more stressful impacts on the status of criminal activities in the society of India.  In the journal paper “Urbanization and Crime: A Relational Analysis” by Ajaz Ahmad Malik, contrasting aspects have been illustrated (Malik, 2016). The journal paper has elaborated on the impact and role of increasing urbanization on the rising trend of crimes.  While the other literature researches have focused on the poverty and low-income standard of the people to be associated with the rise in criminal activities in the society of India, this journal paper has reflected on the fact that states that urbanization has encouraged crimes across the country (Malik, 2016). It has also been stated that the criminal activities in the rural regions of India are not highlighted to a greater extent as compared to the crimes in the urban regions of the country.  The shifting of employment opportunities from rural to the urban regions of the country has increased the negligence in the rural areas which are the regions having low levels of income.  Hence, criminal activities have significantly increased in urban areas according to the journal paper. According to “Court Backlogs and Crime in India” by Sofia Amaral and Siddhartha Bandyopadhyay, it has been observed that the increase in the criminal activities which are conducted by the people belonging to the lower income groups with the increase in the delaying of the provision of justice (Amaral & Bandyopadhyay, 2015). According to Iyer and Topalova, assessing the link between crime and poverty by considering the impacts of the crime of the minimization of import tariffs after the reforms regarding trade liberalization of 1991 in India is very much relevant (Iyer & Topalova, 2014).  In this journal paper, the increase in property and violent crimes with more significant effects are observed due to the delay in the provision of justice. This has further led to higher backlogs in court resulting in an increased rate of crimes which mostly involve people belonging to the low-income group. Crimes that are conducted in India are mostly committed by adolescents who belong to families having low incomes (Suresh M. Makvana, 2016).  They are found to be consuming alcohol, stealing bicycles, shoplifting, assaulting, molestation, and raping. It was also found that the unbalance in the fulfillment of basic resources and needs along with the opportunities for education and income of the parents.

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Potentials Gaps

There have been various gains in insights into the association between low income and the rate of crime s in country India. According to the journal by Ashish Bharadwaj, the significance of the social and economic factors with the integration of lower incomes increases the rates of crime in India (Bharadwaj, 2014). The position of individuals due to low income and poverty in terms of social and economic spheres have intense effects in negative ways which adds to the increase in crime in Indian society. According to Sjoquist, 1973; DeLorenzo, 1983; Cohen, Kluegel, and Land (1981: 511), the imbalance in the levels of domestic lifestyle and employment which is not achieved by the people having lower income has been adding to the higher criminal activities. By comparing the literature provided by the journal structured by Surender Kumar, the crime rate in India has been increasing due to the damage and loss of property and lives which are not rectified due to lack of finances and support has been contributing to the increased crime rates.

Gaps in the literature have been observed. There has been an increase in the provision of the education level of children belonging to the low-income groups in India which has been decreasing the crime rates in the country. There has been variation and gap between the literature provided by Sofia Amaral and Siddhartha Bandyopadhyay as not many pieces of evidence are present in practical relevance regarding the delay of judgment and increased crime rates due to poverty (Amaral & Bandyopadhyay, 2015).

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Amaral, S. and Bandyopadhyay, S., 2015. Court Backlogs and Crime in India. IIM Kozhikode Society & Management Review, 4(2), pp.86-91.

Arvind Verma, Manish Kumar., 2008. The Etiology of Crime in India. International Journal of Criminal Justice Sciences.

Bharadwaj, A., 2014. Is poverty the mother of crime? Empirical evidence of the impact of socioeconomic factors on crime in India. Atlantic Review of Economics, 1, p.1.

Iyer, L., Mani, A., Mishra, P. and Topalova, P., 2010. Political representation and crime: Evidence from India. Draft paper. Washington DC: International Monetary Fund.

Iyer, L. and Topalova, P.B., 2014. Poverty and crime: evidence from rainfall and trade shocks in India.

Kumar, S., 2013. Crime and economic growth: evidence from India.

Levitt, S.D., 1999. The changing relationship between income and crime victimization.

La Vigne, N., Fontaine, J. and Dwivedi, A., 2017. How Do People in High-Crime, Low-Income Communities View the Police?

Malik, A.A.2016, Urbanization, and Crime: A Relational Analysis.

Suresh M. Makvana 2016. The International Journal of Indian Psychology, Volume 3, Issue 3 No 3

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