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Spillovers from Conditional Cash Transfer Programs: Bolsa Família and Crime in Urban Brazil

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Author Info

  • Chioda, Laura

    ()
    (World Bank)

  • de Mello, João M. P.

    ()
    (Pontifical Catholic University of Rio de Janeiro (PUC-Rio))

  • Soares, Rodrigo R.

    ()
    (Sao Paulo School of Economics)

Abstract

This paper investigates the impact of Conditional Cash Transfer (CCT) programs on crime. Making use of a unique dataset combining detailed school characteristics with time and geo-referenced crime information from the city of São Paulo, Brazil, we estimate the contemporaneous effect of the Bolsa Família program on crime. We address the endogeneity of CCT coverage by exploiting the 2008 expansion of the program to adolescents aged 16 and 17. We construct an instrument that combines the timing of expansion and the initial demographic composition of schools to identify plausibly exogenous variations in the number of children covered by Bolsa Família. We find a robust and significant negative impact of Bolsa Família coverage on crime. The evidence suggests that the main effect works through increased household income or changed peer group, rather than from incapacitation from time spent in school.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA) in its series IZA Discussion Papers with number 6371.

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Length: 31 pages
Date of creation: Feb 2012
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp6371

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Keywords: crime; Bolsa Família; conditional cash transfer; education; schooling; Brazil;

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  1. Chamarbagwala, Rubiana & Morán, Hilcías E., 2011. "The human capital consequences of civil war: Evidence from Guatemala," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 94(1), pages 41-61, January.
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  15. Steven D. Levitt & Lance Lochner, 2001. "The Determinants of Juvenile Crime," NBER Chapters, in: Risky Behavior among Youths: An Economic Analysis, pages 327-374 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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  18. Soares, Rodrigo R., 2004. "Development, crime and punishment: accounting for the international differences in crime rates," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 73(1), pages 155-184, February.
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Citations

Blog mentions

As found by EconAcademics.org, the blog aggregator for Economics research:
  1. Blogosfera econômica brasileira pegando fogo
    by Drunkeynesian in The Drunkeynesian on 2012-06-20 04:01:00
  2. A semana (18-24/06)
    by Roberto Ushisima in Empresas e Mercados on 2012-06-24 23:07:00
  3. Crime rates and welfare payments in Brazil: a rancorous debate
    by admin in Marcelo Ballvé on 2012-07-18 16:42:10
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Cited by:
  1. Benjamin Crost & Joseph H. Felter & Patrick B. Johnston, 2014. "Conditional Cash Transfers, Civil Conflict and Insurgent Influence: Experimental Evidence from the Philippines," HiCN Working Papers 174, Households in Conflict Network.

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