Fighting Crime in Lawless Areas: Evidence from Slums in Rio de Janeiro
87 Pages Posted: 11 Feb 2019 Last revised: 15 Aug 2022
Date Written: August 7, 2022
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: Suggested Citation