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Comparing Different Sources of Data to Examine Trends of Hate Crime in Absence of Official Registers

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Whether hate crime against minority groups increases or decreases over time underpins important theoretical and policy questions. However, the ability to capture trends is limited due to a dearth of data and measurement problems, especially in countries where there is no official register of hate crime. Using Chile as a case study, we compare longitudinal data from victimization surveys, registers of community organizations and mainstream media reports. The results allow us to discuss opportunities and limitations of triangulating different data sources to capture trends of hate crime. Our study results show a general increase in trends of hate crimes in Chile between 2015 and 2019, but important differences between data sources and victim groups (we consider LGBTI, migrant and Indigenous victims). We propose that the qualitative difference in the size of variation across different sources is explained by different biases of the data, which we review. This article illustrates the importance of disaggregating hate crimes because trends, correlates and key predictors often differ depending on the type of hate crime and the source of data.

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Vergani, M., Navarro, C., Freilich, J.D. et al. Comparing Different Sources of Data to Examine Trends of Hate Crime in Absence of Official Registers. Am J Crim Just 46, 445–460 (2021).

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