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Who wants safer streets? Explaining concern for public safety in Brazil

  • Pradhan, Menno
  • Ravallion, Martin

This discussion paper resulted in an article in the Journal of Economic Psychology (2003). Volume 24(1), pages 17-33. 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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Article provided by Elsevier in its journal Journal of Economic Psychology.

Volume (Year): 24 (2003)
Issue (Month): 1 (February)
Pages: 17-33

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Handle: RePEc:eee:joepsy:v:24:y:2003:i:1:p:17-33
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  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. Bohm, Peter, 1984. "Revealing demand for an actual public good," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 24(2), pages 135-151, July.
  4. Gyimah-Brempong, Kwabena, 1989. "Production of Public Safety: Are Socioeconomic Characteristics of Local Communities Important Factors?," Journal of Applied Econometrics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 4(1), pages 57-71, Jan.-Mar..
  5. Akerlof, George A & Dickens, William T, 1982. "The Economic Consequences of Cognitive Dissonance," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 72(3), pages 307-19, June.
  6. Edward L. Glaeser & Bruce Sacerdote & Jose A. Scheinkman, 1995. "Crime and Social Interactions," NBER Working Papers 5026, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  7. Bergstrom, Theodore C & Rubinfeld, Daniel L & Shapiro, Perry, 1982. "Micro-Based Estimates of Demand Functions for Local School Expenditures," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 50(5), pages 1183-1205, September.
  8. Philipson, Tomas J & Posner, Richard A, 1996. "The Economic Epidemiology of Crime," Journal of Law and Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 39(2), pages 405-33, October.
  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. 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.
  11. Ravallion, Martin, 1982. "The Welfare Economics of Local Public Spending: An Empirical Approach," Economica, London School of Economics and Political Science, vol. 49(193), pages 49-61, February.
  12. Gibson, Betty Blecha, 1980. "Estimating Demand Elasticities for Public Goods from Survey Data," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 70(5), pages 1069-76, December.
  13. Grosh, M.E. & Munoz, J., 1996. "A Manual for Planning and Implementing the Living Standards Measurement Study Survey," Papers 126, World Bank - Living Standards Measurement.
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