A quantile panel examination of the moderation effects of guardianship on residential burglary

Do informal and formal mechanisms of guardianship work together to reduce residential burglary? In this article we argue that informal guardianship moderates the relationship between formal mechanisms of guardianship and residential burglary. Formal guardianship requires some level of social cohesion and trust to be effective against residential burglary. We test this argument with the use of robust panel quantile methods controlling for time effects, spatial effects, and alternative explanations. Using Mexico City neighborhood crime and census data, we show evidence of a moderating weakening effect of informal guardianship on the previous relationship, particularly in deprived neighborhoods and only in the upper quantiles of the residential burglary distribution. In addition, the moderation effects seem to have weakened over time. In sum, the combination of guardianship mechanisms seems to have been more effective in high burglary risk deprived neighborhoods, although their combination seems to have become less relevant.

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