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Menos Armas, Menos Crimes

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  • Daniel Ricardo de Castro Cerqueira

Abstract

Mais armas causam mais ou menos crimes? Há os que advogam que a difusão das armas de fogo faz diminuir o seu preço no mercado ilegal, além de estimular soluções violentas aos conflitos interpessoais. Alguns autores, no entanto, apontam que as armas provocam um efeito de dissuasão ao crime, devido ao aumento do custo esperado pelo criminoso para lidar com uma vítima potencialmente armada. Neste trabalho, em primeiro lugar, fez-se uma ampla análise da literatura sobre a relação entre armas e crimes. Formulou-se um modelo teórico de demanda por armas para entender os canais que relacionam estes dois elementos. Por fim, elaborou-se uma estratégia de identificação para estimar o efeito das armas sobre os crimes violentos e contra a propriedade, nos municípios paulistas, entre 2001 e 2007. A estratégia adotada se baseou no uso de variáveis instrumentais, que permitiu explorar a variação temporal e a variação cross-section dos crimes e da prevalência de armas nos municípios. O instrumento foi elaborado com informações do Estatuto do Desarmamento (ED) - lei nacional sancionada em dezembro de 2003 -, a partir de uma medida de difusão de armas nos municípios paulistas em 2003. A hipótese identificadora é que o impacto do ED sobre a demanda por armas seria tanto maior quanto maior a prevalência de armas antes da ocorrência da lei. Apresentam-se evidências de que a política de desarmamento praticada no estado de São Paulo entre 2001 e 2007 foi um dos fatores relevantes que levaram à diminuição nos crimes violentos, em particular nos homicídios (elasticidade em torno de 2,0). Entretanto, não se encontraram evidências de qualquer efeito sobre outros crimes com motivação econômica, como latrocínio, roubo de veículos e tráfico de drogas ilícitas, o que sugere a irrelevância do eventual efeito da dissuasão ao crime pela vítima potencialmente armada. Do more guns cause less crime or more crime? Some authors argue that the spread of firearms encourage violent solutions to interpersonal conflicts. Other authors, however, suggest that the defensive use of gun decreases economic crime. In this paper we proi osed an identification strategy to estimate the effect of guns on violent crimes and on property crime. The strategy was based on the use of instrumental variables that allowed us to explore the temporal and cross-section variation of the crimes and prevalence of guns in cities. The instrument was developed based on the Statute of Disarmament (ED) - a national law passed in December 2003. The identification hypothesis is that the impact of ED on the demand for weapons would be greater as higher the prevalence of weapons previous the occurrence of the Law. We presented evidence that the policy of disarmament, operated in the state of São Paulo between 2001 and 2007, was one of the relevant factors that led to the decrease in violent crime, particularly homicides (average elasticity around 2.0). On the other hand, we found no evidence of any effect on other crimes with economic motivation as larceny, vehicle theft, and trafficking of illicit drugs, suggesting the irrelevance of the potential effect of deterring crime by the armed victim

Suggested Citation

  • Daniel Ricardo de Castro Cerqueira, 2012. "Menos Armas, Menos Crimes," Discussion Papers 1721, Instituto de Pesquisa Econômica Aplicada - IPEA.
  • Handle: RePEc:ipe:ipetds:1721
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