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The Welfare Cost of Homicides in Brazil: Accounting for Heterogeneity in the Willingness to Pay for Mortality Reductions

  • Daniel R.C. Cerqueira



  • Rodrigo R. Soares


    (Department of Economics PUC-Rio)

This paper estimates the health dimension of the welfare cost of homicides in Brazil incorporating age, gender, educational, and regional heterogeneities. We use the marginal willingness to pay approach from the “value of life” literature to assign monetary values to the welfare cost of increased mortality due to violence. The results indicate that the present discounted value of the welfare cost of homicides in Brazil corresponds to roughly 78% of the GDP or, measured in terms of yearly flow, 2.3%. The analysis also indicates that reliance on aggregate data to perform such calculations, without taking into account the relevant dimensions of heterogeneity, can lead to biases of the order of 20% in the estimated social cost of violence

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Paper provided by Department of Economics PUC-Rio (Brazil) in its series Textos para discussão with number 600.

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Length: 28p
Date of creation: Aug 2012
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:rio:texdis:600
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  1. Timothy Besley & Hannes Mueller, 2009. "Estimating the peace dividend: the impact of violence on house prices in Northern Ireland," LSE Research Online Documents on Economics 25427, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library.
  2. Rodrigo R. Soares, 2006. "Health And The Evolution Of Welfare Across Brazilian Municipalities," Anais do XXXIV Encontro Nacional de Economia [Proceedings of the 34th Brazilian Economics Meeting] 105, ANPEC - Associação Nacional dos Centros de Pósgraduação em Economia [Brazilian Association of Graduate Programs in Economics].
  3. Jens Ludwig & Philip J. Cook, 1999. "The Benefits of Reducing Gun Violence: Evidence from Contingent-Valuation Survey Data," NBER Working Papers 7166, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  4. Birchenall, Javier A. & Soares, Rodrigo R., 2009. "Altruism, fertility, and the value of children: Health policy evaluation and intergenerational welfare," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 93(1-2), pages 280-295, February.
  5. Alexandre X. Y. Carvalho & Daniel R. C. Cerqueira & Rute I. Rodriques & Waldir J. A. Lobão, 2008. "Custos das mortes por causa externas no Brasil," Anais do XXXVI Encontro Nacional de Economia [Proceedings of the 36th Brazilian Economics Meeting] 200807202336240, ANPEC - Associação Nacional dos Centros de Pósgraduação em Economia [Brazilian Association of Graduate Programs in Economics].
  6. Kevin M. Murphy & Robert H. Topel, 2006. "The Value of Health and Longevity," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 114(5), pages 871-904, October.
  7. Jones-Lee, M W, 1992. "Paternalistic Altruism and the Value of Statistical Life," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 102(410), pages 80-90, January.
  8. Giles Atkinson & Andrew Healey & Susana Mourato, 2005. "Valuing the costs of violent crime: a stated preference approach," Oxford Economic Papers, Oxford University Press, vol. 57(4), pages 559-585, October.
  9. Theodore C. Bergstrom, 2004. "Benefit-Cost in a Benevolent Society," Public Economics 0405006, EconWPA.
  10. Rosen, Sherwin, 1988. " The Value of Changes in Life Expectancy," Journal of Risk and Uncertainty, Springer, vol. 1(3), pages 285-304, September.
  11. Soares, Rodrigo R., 2006. "The welfare cost of violence across countries," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 25(5), pages 821-846, September.
  12. Viscusi, W Kip & Aldy, Joseph E, 2003. " The Value of a Statistical Life: A Critical Review of Market Estimates throughout the World," Journal of Risk and Uncertainty, Springer, vol. 27(1), pages 5-76, August.
  13. Rute I. Rodrigues & Daniel R. C. Cerqueira & Alexandre X. Carvalho & Waldir J. A. Lobão, 2007. "Custo da violência para o Sistema Público de Saúde no Brasil," Discussion Papers 1295, Instituto de Pesquisa Econômica Aplicada - IPEA.
  14. Anderson, David A, 1999. "The Aggregate Burden of Crime," Journal of Law and Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 42(2), pages 611-42, October.
  15. Thaler, Richard, 1978. "A note on the value of crime control: Evidence from the property market," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 5(1), pages 137-145, January.
  16. Gary S. Becker & Julio Jorge El�as, 2007. "Introducing Incentives in the Market for Live and Cadaveric Organ Donations," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 21(3), pages 3-24, Summer.
  17. Cropper, Maureen L & Sussman, Frances G, 1988. "Families and the Economics of Risks to Life," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 78(1), pages 255-60, March.
  18. Daniel R.C. Cerqueira & Alexandre X. Y. Carvalho & Waldir J. A. Lobão & Rute I. Rodrigues, 2007. "Análise dos Custos e Conseqüencias da Violência no Brasil," Discussion Papers 1284, Instituto de Pesquisa Econômica Aplicada - IPEA.
  19. repec:reg:rpubli:282 is not listed on IDEAS
  20. Gary S. Becker & Tomas J. Philipson & Rodrigo R. Soares, 2005. "The Quantity and Quality of Life and the Evolution of World Inequality," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 95(1), pages 277-291, March.
  21. Sergei Suarez Dillon Soares, 2007. "Educação: Um Escudo Contra o Homicídio?," Discussion Papers 1298, Instituto de Pesquisa Econômica Aplicada - IPEA.
  22. Dan Usher, 1973. "An Imputation to the Measure of Economic Growth for Changes in Life Expectancy," NBER Chapters, in: The Measurement of Economic and Social Performance, pages 193-232 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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