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Living on the Edge: Youth Entry, Career and Exit in Drug-Selling Gangs

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  • Carvalho, Leandro

    ()
    (RAND)

  • Soares, Rodrigo R.

    ()
    (Sao Paulo School of Economics)

Abstract

We use data from a unique survey of members of drug-trafficking gangs in favelas (slums) of Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, to characterize drug-trafficking jobs and study the selection into gangs, analyzing what distinguishes gang-members from other youth living in favelas. We also estimate wage regressions for gang-members and examine their career path: age at entry, progression within the gangs' hierarchy, and short- to medium-term outcomes. Individuals from lower socioeconomic background and with no religious affiliation have higher probability of joining a gang, while those with problems at school and early use of drugs join the gang at younger ages. Wages within the gang do not depend on education, but are increasing with experience and involvement in gang-related violence. The two-year mortality rate in the sample of gang-members reaches 20%, with the probability of death increasing with initial involvement in gang violence and with personality traits associated with unruliness.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA) in its series IZA Discussion Papers with number 7189.

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Length: 37 pages
Date of creation: Jan 2013
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp7189

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Keywords: crime; youth; gangs; drugs; trafficking; Brazil;

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  1. Daniel R.C. Cerqueira & Rodrigo R. Soares, 2012. "The Welfare Cost of Homicides in Brazil: Accounting for Heterogeneity in the Willingness to Pay for Mortality Reductions," Textos para discussão 600, Department of Economics PUC-Rio (Brazil).
  2. Soares, Rodrigo R., 2006. "The welfare cost of violence across countries," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 25(5), pages 821-846, September.
  3. Peter T. Leeson, 2007. "An-arrgh-chy: The Law and Economics of Pirate Organization," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 115(6), pages 1049-1094, December.
  4. Imbens, G. & Lancaster, T., 1993. "Case-Control Studies with Contaminated Controls," Papers 9307, Tilburg - Center for Economic Research.
  5. Lance Lochner, 2010. "Education Policy and Crime," NBER Working Papers 15894, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  6. Christopher Blattman & Jeannie Annan, 2010. "The Consequences of Child Soldiering," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 92(4), pages 882-898, November.
  7. Lance Lochner & Enrico Moretti, 2004. "The Effect of Education on Crime: Evidence from Prison Inmates, Arrests, and Self-Reports," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 94(1), pages 155-189, March.
  8. David J. Deming, 2011. "Better Schools, Less Crime?," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 126(4), pages 2063-2115.
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  1. Vidas al límite en Río de Janeiro
    by Omar García-Ponce in Politikon on 2014-06-24 09:11:29

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