Does crime increase support for far-right movements? The case of the favelas in Rio de Janeiro


In 2018 the homicide rate was reaching its historical record in Brazil and Bolsonaro ran for elections with an aggressive anti-crime platform. In this paper, I exploit a quasi-experimental variation generated by introducing police units in favelas near the Olympic facilities of Rio de Janeiro. For each census tract in Rio de Janeiro I show there is variation in the homicide rate according to proximity to a favela and whether or not there are police units installed. In addition, I show that the introduction of police units also had an effect on the votes obtained by Bolsonaro in 2018. Results suggest that an increase of one homicide per 100,000 inhabitants corresponds to a 2.8 p.p. increase in the share of votes won by Bolsonaro in the municipality of Rio de Janeiro.

Daniela Solá
Daniela Solá
Assistant Professor of Economics

I hold a Ph.D. in Economics from CEMFI. My research interests are in the fields of Political Economy and Economic Development.