Does It Pay to Fight Crime? Evidence from the Pacification of Slums in Rio de Janeiro
84 Pages Posted: 11 Feb 2019 Last revised: 2 Dec 2019
Date Written: January 31, 2019
Using Rio de Janeiro’s slum pacification program initiated in 2008, we study the effect of policies aimed at fighting drug gangs on crime. By combining a proxy variable with a simple structural model, we correct the bias resulting from the increase in unobserved crime reporting. We find that the program decreased the murder and the robbery rates by 7% and 34% respectively. However, the assault and the threat rates increased by 51% and 60% respectively. Absolute and marginal crime deterrence effects and a gang governance effect, namely that gangs can provide security to their turf, explain our results.
Keywords: Crime, Criminal Governance, Reporting Bias, Pacification Policy, Drug Gangs, Brazil
JEL Classification: D74, H76, K42
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation