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Who wants Safer Streets? Explaining Concern for Public Safety in Brazil

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  • Menno Pradhan

    ()
    (World Bank, Washington, and Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam)

  • Martin Ravallion

    (World Bank, Washington)

Abstract

Public action to prevent crime is often driven by concerns about public safety. But what generatesthose concerns ? ]s it crime, or something else ? Using survey data for Brazil, we find that thedesire for greater public safety has a positive own-income effect, but a negative neighborhood-income effect; living in a poor area increases concern for public safety at given own-income. Theown-income effect is nonlinear, such that inequality attenuates the aggregate concern for greatersafety. Education raises concern, and strongly so when neighbors are poorly educated. Controllingfor these factors, we identify a significant causal effect of lack of public safety on the desire forgreater safety.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Tinbergen Institute in its series Tinbergen Institute Discussion Papers with number 01-093/2.

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Date of creation: 04 Oct 2001
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Handle: RePEc:dgr:uvatin:20010093

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Keywords: Perceived public safety; crime; inequality; Brazil;

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  1. Ravallion, Martin, 1982. "The Welfare Economics of Local Public Spending: An Empirical Approach," Economica, London School of Economics and Political Science, London School of Economics and Political Science, vol. 49(193), pages 49-61, February.
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  4. Philipson, Tomas J & Posner, Richard A, 1996. "The Economic Epidemiology of Crime," Journal of Law and Economics, University of Chicago Press, University of Chicago Press, vol. 39(2), pages 405-33, October.
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  9. Freeman, Scott & Grogger, Jeffrey & Sonstelie, Jon, 1996. "The Spatial Concentration of Crime," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 40(2), pages 216-231, September.
  10. Behrman, Jere R & Craig, Steven G, 1987. "The Distribution of Public Services: An Exploration of Local Governmental Preferences," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 77(1), pages 37-49, March.
  11. Bergstrom, Theodore C & Rubinfeld, Daniel L & Shapiro, Perry, 1982. "Micro-Based Estimates of Demand Functions for Local School Expenditures," Econometrica, Econometric Society, Econometric Society, vol. 50(5), pages 1183-1205, September.
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  14. Grosh, M.E. & Munoz, J., 1996. "A Manual for Planning and Implementing the Living Standards Measurement Study Survey," Papers, World Bank - Living Standards Measurement 126, World Bank - Living Standards Measurement.
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  16. Clotfelter, Charles T, 1977. "Public Services, Private Substitutes, and the Demand for Protection against Crime," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 67(5), pages 867-77, December.
  17. Thaler, Richard, 1978. "A note on the value of crime control: Evidence from the property market," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 5(1), pages 137-145, January.
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Cited by:
  1. Demombynes, Gabriel & Ozler, Berk, 2002. "Crime and local inequality in South Africa," Policy Research Working Paper Series 2925, The World Bank.
  2. Frédéric Puech, 2005. "Education, Inequality and Violent Crime in Minas Gerais," HEW, EconWPA 0509006, EconWPA.

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