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

90 Pages Posted: 11 Feb 2019 Last revised: 27 Feb 2023

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: February 23, 2023

Abstract

We use Rio de Janeiro’s slum pacification program initiated in 2008 to analyze the effect of policies fighting crime in lawless areas. We correct the bias from the unobserved rise in crime reporting via the use of a proxy variable and bounded variation assumptions. We find that the program reduced the murder and robbery rates, but strongly increased the assault and threat rates. We explain these results by providing evidence that increased enforcement weakened the security service gangs provide on their turf, and may incentivize criminals to switch from serious to less-serious crimes.

Keywords: Crime, Law Enforcement, Drug Gangs, Proxy Variable, 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 (February 23, 2023). 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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