Socioeconomic Structure, Self-Fuifilment, Homicides and Spatial Dependence in Brazil
In this article we develop a theoretical model to explain the homicide rate in anygiven place and construct a Bayesian model with a spatial structure to test thehypotheses. We assume that in his quest for self-fulfilment the individual, whentaking the decision to perpetrate violence, not only responds to expected economiccosts and benefits, but also to an internal system of reward and punishment,synthesized by the emotions. Symbolic valuation, in particular, with respect toconventional rules and the subjective valuation of life itself, depends onsocioeconomic and age-group bonds. Theoretical conclusions show that theprobability of victimization by violence is higher in places with greater incomeinequality, larger proportion of youths in the population and socioeconomicvulnerability. The model tested covered 5.507 Brazilian municipalities from 1999 to2001, and we calculated the risk of a resident in any given municipality being avictim of homicide. This variable was confronted with other structural variables inorder to obtain homicide elasticities and the effect of spatial dependency inexplaining the risk of local victimization. The results suggest that there is evidence tosupport the theoretical propositions.
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