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

Christophe Bellégo () and Joeffrey Drouard ()
Additional contact information
Christophe Bellégo: CREST-ENSAE
Joeffrey Drouard: University of Rennes 1 and CREM

No 2019-08, Working Papers from Center for Research in Economics and Statistics

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.

Keywords: Crime; Criminal Governance; Reporting Rate; Pacification Policy; Drug Gangs; Brazil (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: D74 K42 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
New Economics Papers: this item is included in nep-law
Date: 2019-05-21
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