IDEAS home Printed from
   My bibliography  Save this article

Economic development and crime in Brazil: a multivariate and spatial analysis


  • Barros, Pedro Henrique Batista de

    () (Universidade Estadual de Ponta Grossa)

  • Baggio, Isadora Salvalaggio

    () (Graduanda em Arquitetura e Urbanismo na Pontifícia Universidade Católica (PUC/PR))

  • Stege, Alysson Luiz

    () (Professor Adjunto do Departamento de Economia da Universidade Estadual de Ponta Grossa (UEPG))

  • Hilgemberg, Cleise Maria de Almeida Tupich

    () (Professora Adjunta do Departamento de Economia da Universidade Estadual de Ponta Grossa (UEPG))


This paper aimed to analyze the spatial distribution of crime in the 5,565 Brazilian municipalities and to investigate its relationship with local economic development. More specifically, we analyze the presence of spatial dependence and heterogeneity as well as spatial clusters among the municipalities, using Exploratory Spatial Data Analysis (ESDA) and homicide rate as a proxy for crime. Due to the large number of socioeconomic variables identified in the literature as important to explain crime, we created an Economic Development Index (EDI) for Brazilian municipalities that synthesizes all possible influences, using factor analysis from multivariate statistics. We also grouped municipalities with dissimilar crime and economic development characteristics via cluster analysis. The results show that both economic development and crime are spatially concentrated in Brazil, suffering from spatial dependence. In addition, the EDI and crime are negatively associated for most Brazilian municipalities both in spatial and cluster analysis, indicating that economic development is a crime inhibitor. However, there are some municipalities where economic development is not capable of barring crime advancement, which requires special attention by researchers and public agents.

Suggested Citation

  • Barros, Pedro Henrique Batista de & Baggio, Isadora Salvalaggio & Stege, Alysson Luiz & Hilgemberg, Cleise Maria de Almeida Tupich, 2019. "Economic development and crime in Brazil: a multivariate and spatial analysis," Revista Brasileira de Estudos Regionais e Urbanos, Associação Brasileira de Estudos Regionais e Urbanos (ABER), vol. 13(1), pages 1-22, June.
  • Handle: RePEc:ris:rberur:0001

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL:
    File Function: Full text
    Download Restriction: ris

    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Ariaster B. Chimeli & Rodrigo R. Soares, 2017. "The Use of Violence in Illegal Markets: Evidence from Mahogany Trade in the Brazilian Amazon," American Economic Journal: Applied Economics, American Economic Association, vol. 9(4), pages 30-57, October.
    2. André Oliveira Ferreira Loureiro & José Raimundo de Araújo Carvalho Júnior, 2007. "O Impacto Dos Gastos Públicos Sobre A Criminalidade No Brasil," Anais do XXXV Encontro Nacional de Economia [Proceedings of the 35th Brazilian Economics Meeting] 163, ANPEC - Associação Nacional dos Centros de Pós-Graduação em Economia [Brazilian Association of Graduate Programs in Economics].
    3. Henry Kaiser, 1958. "The varimax criterion for analytic rotation in factor analysis," Psychometrika, Springer;The Psychometric Society, vol. 23(3), pages 187-200, September.
    4. Gary S. Becker, 1974. "Crime and Punishment: An Economic Approach," NBER Chapters, in: Essays in the Economics of Crime and Punishment, pages 1-54, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    5. Adolfo Sachsida & Mario Mendonça & Paulo Loureiro & Maria Gutierrez, 2010. "Inequality and criminality revisited: further evidence from Brazil," Empirical Economics, Springer, vol. 39(1), pages 93-109, August.
    6. Firouz Fallahi & Hamed Pourtaghi & Gabriel Rodríguez, 2012. "The unemployment rate, unemployment volatility, and crime," International Journal of Social Economics, Emerald Group Publishing, vol. 39(6), pages 440-448, May.
    7. Leandro Kume, 2004. "Uma Estimativa Dos Determinantes Da Taxa De Criminalidade Brasileira: Uma Aplicação Em Painel Dinâmico," Anais do XXXII Encontro Nacional de Economia [Proceedings of the 32nd Brazilian Economics Meeting] 148, ANPEC - Associação Nacional dos Centros de Pós-Graduação em Economia [Brazilian Association of Graduate Programs in Economics].
    8. Edward L. Glaeser & Bruce Sacerdote, 1999. "Why Is There More Crime in Cities?," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 107(S6), pages 225-258, December.
    9. Geoffrey M. Steeves & Francis Carlo Petterini & Guilherme V. Moura, 2015. "The interiorization of Brazilian violence, policing, and economic growth," Economia, ANPEC - Associação Nacional dos Centros de Pós-Graduação em Economia [Brazilian Association of Graduate Programs in Economics], vol. 16(3), pages 359-375.
    10. Scorzafave, Luiz Guilherme & Soares, Milena Karla, 2009. "Income inequality and pecuniary crimes," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 104(1), pages 40-42, July.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    Most related items

    These are the items that most often cite the same works as this one and are cited by the same works as this one.
    1. Eva-Maria Egger, 2019. "Internal migration and crime in Brazil," WIDER Working Paper Series wp-2019-112, World Institute for Development Economic Research (UNU-WIDER).
    2. Alves, Luiz G.A. & Ribeiro, Haroldo V. & Mendes, Renio S., 2013. "Scaling laws in the dynamics of crime growth rate," Physica A: Statistical Mechanics and its Applications, Elsevier, vol. 392(11), pages 2672-2679.
    3. Bebonchu Atems, 2020. "Identifying the Dynamic Effects of Income Inequality on Crime," Oxford Bulletin of Economics and Statistics, Department of Economics, University of Oxford, vol. 82(4), pages 751-782, August.
    4. Sandro de Freitas Ferreira & Suzana Quinet de Andrade Bastos & Admir Antonio Betarelli Junior, 2019. "The role of social control in Brazilian homicide rates," Quality & Quantity: International Journal of Methodology, Springer, vol. 53(6), pages 2695-2717, November.
    5. Gaurav Khanna & Carlos Medina & Anant Nyshadham & Jorge Tamayo, 2018. "Formal Employment and Organized Crime: Regression Discontinuity Evidence from Colombia," Borradores de Economia 1054, Banco de la Republica de Colombia.
    6. Entorf, Horst & Spengler, Hannes, 2000. "Socioeconomic and demographic factors of crime in Germany: Evidence from panel data of the German states," International Review of Law and Economics, Elsevier, vol. 20(1), pages 75-106, March.
    7. Imrohoroglu, Ayse & Merlo, Antonio & Rupert, Peter, 2000. "On the Political Economy of Income Redistribution and Crime," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 41(1), pages 1-25, February.
    8. Berrittella, Maria & Provenzano, Carmelo, 2016. "An Empirical Analysis of the Public Spending Decomposition on Organized Crime," ET: Economic Theory 232005, Fondazione Eni Enrico Mattei (FEEM).
    9. Milo Bianchi & Paolo Buonanno & Paolo Pinotti, 2012. "Do Immigrants Cause Crime?," Journal of the European Economic Association, European Economic Association, vol. 10(6), pages 1318-1347, December.
    10. Akçomak, İ. Semih & ter Weel, Bas, 2012. "The impact of social capital on crime: Evidence from the Netherlands," Regional Science and Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 42(1-2), pages 323-340.
    11. Montolio, Daniel & Planells-Struse, Simón, 2015. "When police patrols matter. The effect of police proximity on citizens’ crime risk perception," Journal of Economic Psychology, Elsevier, vol. 50(C), pages 73-93.
    12. Eide, Erling & Rubin, Paul H. & Shepherd, Joanna M., 2006. "Economics of Crime," Foundations and Trends(R) in Microeconomics, now publishers, vol. 2(3), pages 205-279, December.
    13. Paolo Buonanno & Giacomo Pasini & Paolo Vanin, 2012. "Crime and social sanction," Papers in Regional Science, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 91(1), pages 193-218, March.
    14. Demombynes, Gabriel & Ozler, Berk, 2005. "Crime and local inequality in South Africa," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 76(2), pages 265-292, April.
    15. Douhou, Salima & Magnus, Jan R. & van Soest, Arthur, 2011. "The perception of small crime," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 27(4), pages 749-763.
    16. Vincent Bignon & Eve Caroli & Roberto Galbiati, 2011. "Stealing to Survive: Crime and Income Shocks in 19th Century France," PSE Working Papers halshs-00623804, HAL.
    17. Kausik Chaudhuri & Payel Chowdhury & Kevin Reilly, 2013. "A New Perspective on Violent Crime Burden Index: Evidence from Indian Districts," Social Indicators Research: An International and Interdisciplinary Journal for Quality-of-Life Measurement, Springer, vol. 110(2), pages 771-789, January.
    18. Paolo Buonanno & Daniel Montolio & Paolo Vanin, 2009. "Does Social Capital Reduce Crime?," Journal of Law and Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 52(1), pages 145-170, February.
    19. Marcus Dittrich & Gunther Markwardt, 2004. "Arbeitslosigkeit und Kriminalität : eine mögliche "doppelte Dividende" der Arbeitsmarktpolitik?," ifo Dresden berichtet, ifo Institute - Leibniz Institute for Economic Research at the University of Munich, vol. 11(06), pages 11-17, December.
    20. Thiess Buettner, 2003. "Local Determinants of Crime: Distinguishing Between Resident and Non-resident Offenders," ERSA conference papers ersa03p396, European Regional Science Association.

    More about this item


    Economia do crime; Indicador de desenvolvimento econômico; Análise multivariada e espacial;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • O18 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - Urban, Rural, Regional, and Transportation Analysis; Housing; Infrastructure
    • R10 - Urban, Rural, Regional, Real Estate, and Transportation Economics - - General Regional Economics - - - General


    Access and download statistics


    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:ris:rberur:0001. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Inácio Fernandes de Araújo). General contact details of provider: .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    If CitEc recognized a reference but did not link an item in RePEc to it, you can help with this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.