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Does It Pay to Fight Crime? Evidence From the Pacification of Slums in Rio de Janeiro

Author

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  • Christophe Bellégo

    (CREST-ENSAE)

  • Joeffrey Drouard

    (University of Rennes 1 and CREM)

Abstract

This paper studies the effects of policies fighting drug gangs. We exploit the pacification program of slums in Rio de Janeiro, whose progressive rollout across several districts allows the identification of its causal effects on several crime indicators measured from o cial crime data. By combining a proxy variable and by adding simple structure to the empirical model, we correct the endogeneity bias resulting from the unobserved crime reporting change associated with the policy. We find that the program decreases murder rate by 7 percent, but increases assault rate by 51 percent, resulting in a rise in the total number of crimes. Our results are explained both by marginal and absolute crime deterrence effects, and the fact that drug gangs secure the territories under their control.

Suggested Citation

  • Christophe Bellégo & Joeffrey Drouard, 2019. "Does It Pay to Fight Crime? Evidence From the Pacification of Slums in Rio de Janeiro," Working Papers 2019-08, Center for Research in Economics and Statistics.
  • Handle: RePEc:crs:wpaper:2019-08
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    2. Mechoulan, Stéphane, 2020. "Civil unrest, emergency powers, and spillover effects: A mixed methods analysis of the 2005 French riots," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 177(C), pages 305-326.

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Crime; Criminal Governance; Reporting Rate; Pacification Policy; Drug Gangs; Brazil;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • D74 - Microeconomics - - Analysis of Collective Decision-Making - - - Conflict; Conflict Resolution; Alliances; Revolutions
    • K42 - Law and Economics - - Legal Procedure, the Legal System, and Illegal Behavior - - - Illegal Behavior and the Enforcement of Law

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