Foreign Direct Investment, Institutional Anomie, Crime, and Imprisonment




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In contemporary criminological research, there appears to be a decidedly American-centric focus with respect to crime and incarceration. If the field is to expand, more research is needed to understand cross-national differences in crime and the response to crime. One possible framework to understand these differences lies in the application of institutional anomie theory (IAT) to explain crime and prison rates. In an effort to advance the theory, the research presented in this dissertation explicates how the influence of foreign direct investment (FDI) can shape responses in crime and incarceration through a cultural transference of economic freedom. To provide a test of the implications from these propositions, a panel study of 178 countries from 2003-2015 is used to explore the consequences of FDI on crime and incarceration. The results from this study find no support for the idea that FDI corresponds with higher crime or imprisonment rates. Moreover, the relationship between FDI and other social institution variables do not appear to yield a demonstrable effect on either outcome variable. However, there is some evidence suggesting economic overdominance may contribute to higher imprisonment rates. Future research directions are also discussed.



Criminology, Imprisonment, Anomy, Investments, Foreign