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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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References

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  1. Jeffrey Grogger, 1997. "Local Violence and Educational Attainment," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 32(4), pages 659-682.
  2. Brian A. Jacob & Lars Lefgren, 2003. "Are Idle Hands the Devil's Workshop? Incapacitation, Concentration and Juvenile Crime," NBER Working Papers 9653, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  3. Rodrigo R. Soares & Joana Naritomi, 2010. "Understanding High Crime Rates in Latin America: The Role of Social and Policy Factors," NBER Chapters, in: The Economics of Crime: Lessons for and from Latin America, pages 19-55 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  4. Anna Aizer, 2008. "Neighborhood Violence and Urban Youth," NBER Working Papers 13773, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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  7. Eric D. Gould & Bruce A. Weinberg & David B. Mustard, 2002. "Crime Rates And Local Labor Market Opportunities In The United States: 1979-1997," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 84(1), pages 45-61, February.
  8. 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.
  9. Fajnzylber, Pablo & Lederman, Daniel & Loayza, Norman, 2002. "Inequality and Violent Crime," Journal of Law and Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 45(1), pages 1-40, April.
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  12. 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.
  13. Dobkin, Carlos & Puller, Steven L., 2007. "The effects of government transfers on monthly cycles in drug abuse, hospitalization and mortality," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 91(11-12), pages 2137-2157, December.
  14. C. Fritz Foley, 2008. "Welfare Payments and Crime," NBER Working Papers 14074, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  15. Lance Lochner & Enrico Moretti, 2001. "The Effect of Education on Crime: Evidence from Prison Inmates, Arrests, and Self-Reports," NBER Working Papers 8605, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  16. François Bourguignon & Jairo Nuñez & Fabio Sanchez, 2003. "A Structural Model of Crime and Inequality in Colombia," Journal of the European Economic Association, MIT Press, vol. 1(2-3), pages 440-449, 04/05.
  17. Ariel Fiszbein & Norbert Schady & Francisco H. G. Ferreira & Margaret Grosh & Niall Keleher & Pedro Olinto & Emmanuel Skoufias, 2009. "Conditional Cash Transfers : Reducing Present and Future Poverty," World Bank Publications, The World Bank, number 2597, October.
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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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