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City of God Redux: Inequality, Migration, and Violent Crime in Brazil between 1980 and 2000

Tiago Freire ()

ERSA conference papers from European Regional Science Association

Abstract: There is a long-held belief that inequality is a major determinant of violent crime, particularly homicides. Some previous studies suggest that these results hold in the short term only. This could result from measurement error in income inequality. This study addresses the issue of measurement error in inequality by using the relationship between migration and inequality. Using rainfall shocks and changes in transport costs as exogenous sources of out-migration from rural areas in Brazil between 1980 and 2000, the study shows how migration from rural areas affects income inequality in urban areas. It finds that not only is there a negative and statistically significant relationship between inequality and crime in Brazil, and that the effects are much larger than previously thought, but also that this relationship holds in the long term.

Keywords: Crime; Inequality; Rural?Urban Migration; Brazil (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: J61 J15 K42 R10 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
New Economics Papers: this item is included in nep-lam, nep-law and nep-mig
Date: 2015-10
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Persistent link: https://EconPapers.repec.org/RePEc:wiw:wiwrsa:ersa15p658

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