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Are Educated Societies Less Violent? Education, Deprivation and Crime in Minas Gerais


  • Frédéric PUECH


The intuition behind this paper is that education has a significant role to play in the reduction crime policies in developing countries. In other words, the fact that universal education is not completed in developing countries could be one of the reasons of their high crime rates. This paper brings an augmented economic model of individual crime behavior in order to take into account relative deprivation, discusses the impact of education in this model, distinguishing between property and interpersonal crime and furnishes an econometric estimation of the model for 723 municipalities of Minas Gerais, one of the 26 Brazilian states. Violent property crime seems to be influenced directly by inequality but not by education, which has however a significant reducing effect upon interpersonal violence.

Suggested Citation

  • Frédéric PUECH, 2004. "Are Educated Societies Less Violent? Education, Deprivation and Crime in Minas Gerais," Working Papers 200402, CERDI.
  • Handle: RePEc:cdi:wpaper:468

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Soares, Rodrigo R., 2004. "Development, crime and punishment: accounting for the international differences in crime rates," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 73(1), pages 155-184, February.
    2. Montalvo, Jose G. & Reynal-Querol, Marta, 2003. "Religious polarization and economic development," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 80(2), pages 201-210, August.
    3. Esteban, Joan & Ray, Debraj, 1999. "Conflict and Distribution," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 87(2), pages 379-415, August.
    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. Dan Usher, 1997. "Education as a Deterrent to Crime," Canadian Journal of Economics, Canadian Economics Association, vol. 30(2), pages 367-384, May.
    6. Pradhan, Menno & Ravallion, Martin, 2003. "Who wants safer streets? Explaining concern for public safety in Brazil," Journal of Economic Psychology, Elsevier, vol. 24(1), pages 17-33, February.
    7. Shlomo Yitzhaki, 1979. "Relative Deprivation and the Gini Coefficient," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 93(2), pages 321-324.
    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. Ehrlich, Isaac, 1973. "Participation in Illegitimate Activities: A Theoretical and Empirical Investigation," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 81(3), pages 521-565, May-June.
    10. Kawachi, Ichiro & Kennedy, Bruce P. & Wilkinson, Richard G., 1999. "Crime: social disorganization and relative deprivation," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 48(6), pages 719-731, March.
    11. Fajnzylber, Pablo & Lederman, Daniel & Loayza, Norman, 2002. "What causes violent crime?," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 46(7), pages 1323-1357, July.
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    Crime; Violence; Deprivation; Education; Brazil;


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