Pax Monopolista and Crime: The Case of the Emergence of the Primeiro Comando da Capital in São Paulo

Autor: Alexandre Schneider, Ciro Biderman

João M. P. De Mello, Renato S. De Lima


Introduction: Pax Monopolista is the idea that the domination of illegal markets by a single powerful criminal organization is conducive to pacifcation.

Objectives: Test the Pax Monopolista hypothesis using the case of Primeiro Comando da Capital (PCC) — a prison gang turned drug trade organization — in the city of São Paulo.

Methods: Diference-in-diference. Using unique data to identify PCC entry in geographically well-delimited but socially fragile areas — namely, favelas — we explore variations in the timing of the expansion the PCC across the city of São Paulo to establish the impact of PCC presence on crime.

Results: PCC presence is associated with an 11% reduction in violent crime in the favelas that PCC enteredduring the period 2005–2009. No discernible impact on property crime was found.

Conclusions: Results are compatible with the main theoretical reasons why the monopolization of criminalactivity may lead to a reduction in crime.

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