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Spillovers from conditional cash transfer programs: Bolsa Família and crime in urban Brazil

Author

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  • Chioda, Laura
  • De Mello, João M.P.
  • Soares, Rodrigo R.

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 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 with the initial demographic composition of schools to identify plausibly exogenous variation in the number of children covered by Bolsa Família. We find a robust and significant negative impact of Bolsa Família on crime. Incapacitation from time spent in school does not seem to be an important driving force behind the results.

Suggested Citation

  • Chioda, Laura & De Mello, João M.P. & Soares, Rodrigo R., 2016. "Spillovers from conditional cash transfer programs: Bolsa Família and crime in urban Brazil," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 54(C), pages 306-320.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:ecoedu:v:54:y:2016:i:c:p:306-320
    DOI: 10.1016/j.econedurev.2015.04.005
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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Conditional cash transfer; Bolsa Família; Crime; Education; Schooling; Brazil;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • I28 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Education - - - Government Policy
    • I38 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Welfare, Well-Being, and Poverty - - - Government Programs; Provision and Effects of Welfare Programs
    • K42 - Law and Economics - - Legal Procedure, the Legal System, and Illegal Behavior - - - Illegal Behavior and the Enforcement of Law

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