Criminality and Social Inequality in Brazil

IPEA Discussion Paper No. 967

28 Pages Posted: 11 Aug 2003

See all articles by Mario Jorge Cardoso Mendonca

Mario Jorge Cardoso Mendonca

Institute of Applied Economic Research (IPEA) - Directory of Macroeconomic Policy & Studies (DIMAC)

Paulo R. A. Loureiro

University of Brasília- UnB

Adolfo Sachsida

Institute for Applied Economic Research (IPEA); Institute of Applied Economic Research (IPEA)

Date Written: July 2003

Abstract

This study aims at shedding light the question on the criminality in Brazil. Previous analyses have concentrated on the impact of social factors, as for instance inequality, on criminality, nevertheless without making explicit the mechanism by which this variable works. The main hypothesis here is that the agent has a targeted consumption pattern given by average social standards. The non-satisfied consumption creates dissatisfaction, thus making the agent vulnerable to criminal activities. Using Becker's analysis (1968) in the intertemporal maximizing framework, this study shows that the required income to do not undertake illicit activities grows up in a proportional way to the degree of dissatisfaction. Following the methodological approach, it is tested the influence of social inequality on criminality rates for a sample of Brazilian states during the period 1987-1995 using panel data approach. The use of this method allows estimators capable of taking into account the existing heterogeneity among states. The main result that emerges is that social inequality given by the Gini coefficient has a positive impact on criminality rates.

Keywords: Criminality, Target Consumption, Dissatisfaction, Panel Data

JEL Classification: K4, C25, Z13

Suggested Citation

Cardoso Mendonca, Mario Jorge and Loureiro, Paulo R. A. and Sachsida, Adolfo, Criminality and Social Inequality in Brazil (July 2003). IPEA Discussion Paper No. 967, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=431860 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.431860

Mario Jorge Cardoso Mendonca (Contact Author)

Institute of Applied Economic Research (IPEA) - Directory of Macroeconomic Policy & Studies (DIMAC) ( email )

Av. Presidente Antonio Carlos 51
10 Andar Centro
Rio de Janeiro RJ 20020-010
Brazil

Paulo R. A. Loureiro

University of Brasília- UnB ( email )

Campus Darcy Ribeiro-Asa Norte 70362-010 - Brasil
Brasilia, DF 70362-010
Brazil

HOME PAGE: http://www.pauloloureiro.unb.br/

Adolfo Sachsida

Institute for Applied Economic Research (IPEA) ( email )

SBS Ed. BNDES Quadra 1
7o. andar
Brasilia DF 7000-010
Brazil
+55 61 2026-5025 (Phone)
+55 61 315-5448 (Fax)

HOME PAGE: http://www.bdadolfo.blogspot.com

Institute of Applied Economic Research (IPEA) ( email )

Av. Pres. Antonio Carlos , 51 - 17 andar
Rio de Janeiro, RJ, 20020-010
Brazil

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