Chapter

Assessing São Paulo's Large Drop in Homicides: The Role of Demography and Policy Interventions

João M. P. de Mello, Alexandre Schneider and Ernesto Schargrodsky

in The Economics of Crime

Published by University of Chicago Press

Published in print September 2010 | ISBN: 9780226153742
Published online February 2013 | e-ISBN: 9780226153766 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.7208/chicago/9780226153766.003.0007
Assessing São Paulo's Large Drop in Homicides: The Role of Demography and Policy Interventions

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This chapter analyzes the role of demography and policy interventions in explaining the large drop in homicides experienced by São Paulo, Brazil. It attributes a positive role to several policy interventions including the creation of municipal police forces, the implementation of dry laws, gun control policies, the use of crime geo-referencing and criminal identification systems, and increases in incarceration. The authors feel that these factors cannot really account for the geographic and dynamic crime patterns. They explain that demographic changes fit well with the pattern of increase and reduction in homicides in São Paulo and other areas of Brazil. A different approach to the study of crime is needed, one that relies on estimating the role of long-run underlying trends to calculate the proportion of current crime rates that can be attributed to forces beyond the immediate control of policymakers.

Keywords: São Paulo; Brazil; homicides; policy intervention; demography; crime patterns; crime rates

Chapter.  9890 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Economic Development and Growth

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