Homicides and the Age of Criminal Responsibility in Brazil: A Density Discontinuity Approach

Economìa, the journal of LACEA

40 Pages Posted: 7 Oct 2015 Last revised: 6 May 2018

See all articles by Francisco Costa

Francisco Costa

FGV EPGE

João de Faria

Getulio Vargas Foundation (FGV)

Felipe Iachan

FGV

Bárbara Caballero

Government of the Federative Republic of Brazil - Instituto de Segurança Pública- ISP

Date Written: March 20, 2018

Abstract

We employ a density discontinuity design to evaluate the deterrence effect of more severe punishments around the legal age of criminal responsibility in Brazil. Motivated by the criminology literature, we propose a novel proxy based on the inherent risk underlying criminal activities. Using violent death rates as a proxy for an individual's involvement in violent crime, we find no discernible deterrence effects. We additionally study arrest data from the country's third most populous state, Rio de Janeiro, and discuss the advantages of our proxy in light of potential underreporting biases from using criminal records.

Keywords: crime, deterrence, homicide, police, legal majority age

JEL Classification: J18, J22, K14, K42, O12

Suggested Citation

Costa, Francisco and de Faria, João and Iachan, Felipe and Caballero, Bárbara, Homicides and the Age of Criminal Responsibility in Brazil: A Density Discontinuity Approach (March 20, 2018). Economìa, the journal of LACEA, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2670382 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2670382

Francisco Costa (Contact Author)

FGV EPGE ( email )

Praia de Botafogo 190/1119C
Rio de Janeiro RJ 22253-900
Brazil

HOME PAGE: http://https://sites.google.com/site/fjmcosta/

João De Faria

Getulio Vargas Foundation (FGV) ( email )

R. Dr. Neto de Araujo 320 cj 1307
Rio de Janeiro, Rio de Janeiro 22250-900
Brazil

Felipe Iachan

FGV ( email )

Praia de Botofogo, 190
Rio de Janeiro, RJ 22411-060
Brazil

Bárbara Caballero

Government of the Federative Republic of Brazil - Instituto de Segurança Pública- ISP ( email )

Avenida Presidente Vargas
No. 817-11 ° and 16 ° andar
Rio de Janeiro, 20071-004
Brazil

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