Violence and local development in Fortaleza, Brazil: A spatial regression analysis

Victor Hugo de Oliveira Silva, Cleyber Nascimento de Medeiros, José Raimundo Carvalho

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Fortaleza is the fifth largest city of Brazil, and has become the most violent state capital in the last years. In this paper, we investigate whether violent crime rates are associated with the local development of the city. Using an unexplored data source about georeferenced murders and deaths due to bodily injury and theft, we show that violent crime rates exhibit a positive spatial dependence across clusters of census tracts. In other words, small urban areas with high (low) violent crime rates have neighbors, on average, with similar pattern of violent crime rates. Investigating the relationship between violent crime rates and variables associated with local development, spatial regressions suggest that high violent crime rates are related with low-income neighborhood, with high spatial isolation of poor households, low access to urban infrastructure, and high prevalence of illiterate adolescents and young black males. The study also provides important evidence about spillover effects that helps to understand how the absence of local development can expose neighbors to violence.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)147–166
Number of pages20
JournalApplied Spatial Analysis and Policy
Early online date20 Sep 2017
Publication statusPublished - 15 Mar 2019

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