Fighting Crime in Lawless Areas: Evidence from Slums in Rio de Janeiro

87 Pages Posted: 11 Feb 2019 Last revised: 15 Aug 2022

See all articles by Christophe Bellégo

Christophe Bellégo

CREST (Center for Research in Economics and Statistics) - ENSAE (National School for Statistics and Economic Administration)

Joeffrey Drouard

University of Rennes 1

Date Written: August 7, 2022

Abstract

Using Rio de Janeiro’s slum pacification program initiated in 2008, we study the effect of policies fighting crime in lawless areas. We correct the bias resulting from the increase in unobserved crime reporting using a proxy variable and bounded variation assumptions. We find that the program decreased the murder and the robbery rates, but strongly increased the assault and the threat rates. To explain these results, we provide evidence that increased enforcement weakens the security service provided by gangs to their turf and may incentivize criminals to switch from serious to less serious crimes.

Keywords: Crime, Law Enforcement, Drug Gangs, Weapons, Reporting Rate, Brazil

JEL Classification: D74, H76, K42

Suggested Citation

Bellégo, Christophe and Drouard, Joeffrey, Fighting Crime in Lawless Areas: Evidence from Slums in Rio de Janeiro (August 7, 2022). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3326563 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.3326563

Christophe Bellégo

CREST (Center for Research in Economics and Statistics) - ENSAE (National School for Statistics and Economic Administration) ( email )

Palaiseau
France

Joeffrey Drouard (Contact Author)

University of Rennes 1 ( email )

7 place Hoche
Rennes, 35065
France

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