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Spillovers from Conditional Cash Transfer Programs: Bolsa Família and Crime in Urban Brazil

Author

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  • Chioda, Laura

    () (World Bank)

  • de Mello, João M. P.

    () (Pontifical Catholic University of Rio de Janeiro (PUC-Rio))

  • Soares, Rodrigo R.

    () (Columbia University)

Abstract

This paper investigates the impact of Conditional Cash Transfer (CCT) programs on crime. Making use of a unique dataset combining detailed school characteristics with time and geo-referenced crime information from the city of São Paulo, Brazil, we estimate the contemporaneous effect of the Bolsa Família program on crime. We address the endogeneity of CCT coverage by exploiting the 2008 expansion of the program to adolescents aged 16 and 17. We construct an instrument that combines the timing of expansion and the initial demographic composition of schools to identify plausibly exogenous variations in the number of children covered by Bolsa Família. We find a robust and significant negative impact of Bolsa Família coverage on crime. The evidence suggests that the main effect works through increased household income or changed peer group, rather than from incapacitation from time spent in school.

Suggested Citation

  • Chioda, Laura & de Mello, João M. P. & Soares, Rodrigo R., 2012. "Spillovers from Conditional Cash Transfer Programs: Bolsa Família and Crime in Urban Brazil," IZA Discussion Papers 6371, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  • Handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp6371
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    Blog mentions

    As found by EconAcademics.org, the blog aggregator for Economics research:
    1. Blogosfera econômica brasileira pegando fogo
      by Drunkeynesian in The Drunkeynesian on 2012-06-20 09:01:00
    2. A semana (18-24/06)
      by Roberto Ushisima in Empresas e Mercados on 2012-06-25 04:07:00
    3. Crime rates and welfare payments in Brazil: a rancorous debate
      by admin in Marcelo Ballvé on 2012-07-18 21:42:10

    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Mário Rubem Do Coutto Bastos & Mário Rubem Do Coutto Bastos, 2016. "Yardstick Competition E A Disciplina Eleitoral No Programa Bolsa Família," Anais do XLIII Encontro Nacional de Economia [Proceedings of the 43rd Brazilian Economics Meeting] 070, ANPEC - Associação Nacional dos Centros de Pós-Graduação em Economia [Brazilian Association of Graduate Programs in Economics].
    2. repec:eee:wdevel:v:107:y:2018:i:c:p:98-110 is not listed on IDEAS
    3. Camargo, Juliana & Lima, Lycia Silva e & Riva, Flavio Luiz Russo & Souza, André Portela Fernandes de, 2018. "Technical education, noncognitive skills and labor market outcomes: experimental evidence from Brazil," Textos para discussão 480, FGV/EESP - Escola de Economia de São Paulo, Getulio Vargas Foundation (Brazil).
    4. De Hoyos Navarro,Rafael E. & Gutierrez Fierros,Carlos & Vargas M.,J. Vicente, 2016. "Idle youth in Mexico : trapped between the war on drugs and economic crisis," Policy Research Working Paper Series 7558, The World Bank.
    5. Witvorapong, Nopphol & Foshanji, Abo Ismael, 2016. "The impact of a conditional cash transfer program on the utilization of non-targeted services: Evidence from Afghanistan," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 152(C), pages 87-95.
    6. Munyo, Ignacio & Rossi, Martín A., 2015. "First-day criminal recidivism," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 124(C), pages 81-90.
    7. Sofia Amaral & Siddhartha Bandyopadhyay & Rudra Sensarma, 2015. "Public Work Programs and Gender-based Violence: The Case of NREGA in India," Discussion Papers 15-09, Department of Economics, University of Birmingham.
    8. Meloni, Osvaldo, 2014. "Does poverty relief spending reduce crime? Evidence from Argentina," International Review of Law and Economics, Elsevier, vol. 39(C), pages 28-38.
    9. Cecilia Alonso, 2018. "Transferencias Monetarias y Crimen. Evidencia para la última década en Montevideo," Documentos de Investigación Estudiantil (students working papers) 18-02, Instituto de Economía - IECON.
    10. Crost, Benjamin & Felter, Joseph H. & Johnston, Patrick B., 2016. "Conditional cash transfers, civil conflict and insurgent influence: Experimental evidence from the Philippines," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 118(C), pages 171-182.
    11. Ignacio Munyo, 2014. "Entertainment and Crime," Kyklos, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 67(3), pages 391-397, August.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    schooling; crime; education; conditional cash transfer; Brazil; Bolsa Família;

    JEL classification:

    • I28 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Education - - - Government Policy
    • I38 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Welfare, Well-Being, and Poverty - - - Government Programs; Provision and Effects of Welfare Programs
    • K42 - Law and Economics - - Legal Procedure, the Legal System, and Illegal Behavior - - - Illegal Behavior and the Enforcement of Law

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