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Inequality and criminality revisited: further evidence from Brazil


  • Adolfo Sachsida


  • Mario Mendonça


  • Paulo Loureiro


  • Maria Gutierrez



The objective of this study is to shed light on the determinants of criminality in Brazil. In order to undertake it we performed an econometric model based in panel data analysis for Brazilian states: Among the major conclusions we have an important result that income inequality plays an important role in criminality. Results also showed that unemployment and urbanization are positively related to crime factors. Based in panel data GMM methodology we found the existence of "inertial effect" on criminality. Panel data GMM estimator was also used to control the existence of endogeneity related to the variable public security. In this case, the results showed that public security spending is effective to diminishes criminality. Contrary to the common wisdom, we cannot found evidence that poverty increases violent crime. Finally considering the results from the Granger causality tests, it was possible to show that inequality causes crime in fact and not the contrary, what supports that the income inequality in an inequivocous determinant of criminality.
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Suggested Citation

  • 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.
  • Handle: RePEc:spr:empeco:v:39:y:2010:i:1:p:93-109 DOI: 10.1007/s00181-009-0296-4

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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. Castillo-Manzano, José I. & Castro-Nuño, Mercedes & Fageda, Xavier, 2015. "Are traffic violators criminals? Searching for answers in the experiences of European countries," Transport Policy, Elsevier, vol. 38(C), pages 86-94.
    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. Yu Liu & Thomas M. Fullerton Jr. & Nathan J. Ashby, 2013. "Assessing The Impacts Of Labor Market And Deterrence Variables On Crime Rates In Mexico," Contemporary Economic Policy, Western Economic Association International, vol. 31(4), pages 669-690, October.
    4. René Cabral & André Varella Mollick & Eduardo Saucedo, 2016. "Violence in Mexico and its effects on labor productivity," The Annals of Regional Science, Springer;Western Regional Science Association, vol. 56(2), pages 317-339, March.
    5. Tiago Freire, 2015. "City of God Redux: Inequality, Migration, and Violent Crime in Brazil between 1980 and 2000," ERSA conference papers ersa15p658, European Regional Science Association.
    6. 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.
    7. Dartanto, Teguh & Otsubo, Shigeru, 2013. "Measurements and Determinants of Multifaceted Poverty:Absolute, Relative, and Subjective Poverty in Indonesia," Working Papers 54, JICA Research Institute.

    More about this item


    Criminality; Inequality; Panel data model; GMM estimator; Granger causality; K42; C23; Z13;

    JEL classification:

    • K42 - Law and Economics - - Legal Procedure, the Legal System, and Illegal Behavior - - - Illegal Behavior and the Enforcement of Law
    • Z13 - Other Special Topics - - Cultural Economics - - - Economic Sociology; Economic Anthropology; Language; Social and Economic Stratification
    • C23 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Single Equation Models; Single Variables - - - Models with Panel Data; Spatio-temporal Models


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