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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 of Labor Economics (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

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    7. Nishijima, Marislei & Pal, Sarmistha, 2020. "Do Compulsory Schooling Laws Always Work? A Study of Youth Crime in Brazilian Municipalities," IZA Discussion Papers 13097, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).
    8. Camargo Juliana & Lima Lycia & Riva Flavio & Souza André Portela, 2021. "Technical Education, Non-cognitive Skills and Labor Market Outcomes: Experimental Evidence from Brazil," IZA Journal of Labor Economics, Sciendo & Forschungsinstitut zur Zukunft der Arbeit GmbH (IZA), vol. 10(1), pages 1-34, January.
    9. 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.
    10. Cody Tuttle, 2019. "Snapping Back: Food Stamp Bans and Criminal Recidivism," American Economic Journal: Economic Policy, American Economic Association, vol. 11(2), pages 301-327, May.
    11. Fernando Borraz & Ignacio Munyo, 2020. "Conditional Cash Transfers and Crime: Higher Income but also Better Loot," Economics Bulletin, AccessEcon, vol. 40(2), pages 1804-1813.
    12. Travers Barclay Child & Elena Nikolova, 2017. "War and Social Attitudes: Revisiting Consensus Views," HiCN Working Papers 258, Households in Conflict Network.
    13. 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.
    14. Munyo, Ignacio & Rossi, Martín A., 2015. "First-day criminal recidivism," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 124(C), pages 81-90.
    15. Carr, Jillian B. & Koppa, Vijetha, 2020. "Housing Vouchers, Income Shocks and Crime: Evidence from a Lottery," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 177(C), pages 475-493.
    16. Ingram, Matthew C. & Marchesini da Costa, Marcelo, 2019. "Political geography of violence: Municipal politics and homicide in Brazil," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 124(C), pages 1-1.
    17. Jose Cuesta & Mario Negre & Ana Revenga & Maika Schmidt, 2018. "Tackling Income Inequality: What Works and Why?," Journal of Income Distribution, Ad libros publications inc., vol. 26(1), pages 1-48, March.
    18. 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.
    19. 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.
    20. Cecilia Alonso, 2018. "Transferencias Monetarias y Crimen. Evidencia para la última década en Montevideo," Documentos de Investigacion Estudiantil (students working papers) 18-02, Instituto de Economia - IECON.
    21. Brett Watson & Mouhcine Guettabi & Matthew Reimer, 2020. "Universal Cash and Crime," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 102(4), pages 678-689, October.
    22. 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.
    23. Daiane Borges Machado & Laura C Rodrigues & Davide Rasella & Maurício Lima Barreto & Ricardo Araya, 2018. "Conditional cash transfer programme: Impact on homicide rates and hospitalisations from violence in Brazil," PLOS ONE, Public Library of Science, vol. 13(12), pages 1-13, December.
    24. Ignacio Munyo, 2014. "Entertainment and Crime," Kyklos, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 67(3), pages 391-397, August.

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    schooling; crime; education; conditional cash transfer; Brazil; Bolsa Família;
    All these keywords.

    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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