Devaluation in the Exchange Rate and its influence on murder in a developing nation: A new public health focus arising from economics
Paul Andrew Bourne, Ikhalfani Solan, Charlene Sharpe-Pryce, Segree Drysdale4, Machel Fearon
Introduction: The discourses on injuries, particularly murders, and the health impact of injuries as well as devaluation of a country’s currency have omitted the exchange rate as a healthcrime and public health phenomena. Objective: The current study evaluates the role of the exchange rate in movements in murders and its implications for public health in developing countries. Methods: Using 22 years of data (1989-2010) collated from various governmental departments’ publications, classical linear regression model was utilized to estimate the influence of the exchange rate as well as other macroeconomic variables on murders. Findings: Of the five (5) variables simultaneously entered into the model, three (3) emerged as factors of log murder – F statistic [5, 17] = 49.311, P < 0.0001. The factors account for 95.4 percentage points of the variability in transformed murder, with log annual exchange rate accounting for 82.1 percentage points of the total variance compared to 9.3 percentage points by log unemployment and 3.2 percentage points by log poverty. Conclusion: The rise in price of imported goods in Jamaica is hurting the urban people; this translates into higher propensity for murders and health care costs.