University of Leicester
2018MENEZESFLSPhD.pdf (38.06 MB)

Essays on the Economics of Crime

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posted on 2018-11-07, 11:16 authored by Francisca Lívia Souza Menezes
This thesis studies some of the many costs associated with exposure to crime. Chapter 2 focuses on indirect exposure to crime, and investigates how homicides affect students’ performance. A number of large administrative Brazilian datasets is used to estimate the causal effect of exposure to homicides in the public way on schooling outcomes. Within-school estimates show that violence in the surroundings of schools, at the residence of students, and on the walking path from residence to school has a negative effect on a number of measures of school achievement such as test scores, repetition, dropout and school progression. Results also show that school attendance suffers following a homicide in the school surroundings. Exceptionally rich data allow the investigation of heterogeneous effects and of the channels underlying these effects. Chapter 3 examines the effect of individual criminal victimisation in robbery and theft on birth outcomes using a unique dataset from Brazil combining information on the universe of victims of crime with vital statistics data. Results show that victimisation in robbery during the first trimester reduces birthweight substantially, by about 60 grams – 10 percent of a standard deviation in birthweight – and increases the likelihood for low birthweight by about 40 percent compared to the baseline. The results are robust to the inclusion of place of residence, hospital and time fixed effects and to the inclusion of a very large array of mother and pregnancy characteristics. Results also show that victimisation leads to a substantial increase in fetal deaths and a positive selection of live births, hence likely providing a lower bound of the estimated effects on birthweight. The very rich information from crime and birth records allow the investigation of the mechanisms underlying the estimated relationship. Chapter 4 studies the effect of criminal victimisation on labour market performance. A number of very rich Brazilian administrative datasets is combined to estimate the effect of exposure to day-to-day crime events of robbery and theft on monthly attendance and turnover of public servants. Using individual and workplace fixed effects, estimates show that after becoming a victim of robbery or theft, monthly attendance of public servants in the workplace is reduced. Individuals who were victims of crime are also more likely to change their workplace or to leave their job subsequently.



Foureaux Koppensteiner, Martin; Oliveira, Tania

Date of award


Author affiliation

Department of Economics

Awarding institution

University of Leicester

Qualification level

  • Doctoral

Qualification name

  • PhD



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