Babies and Bandidos: Birth Outcomes in Pacified Favelas of Rio de Janeiro

Babies and Bandidos: Birth Outcomes in Pacified Favelas of Rio de Janeiro

Abstract

This paper explores police operations pacifying Rio de Janeiro’s favelas to estimate the effects of in utero exposure to reductions in crime on birth outcomes. Using restricted birth records, estimates show that pregnancies residing within official `paciffication’ borders experiencing these operations in utero have 0.07 standard deviation better birth outcomes than pregnancies living on the same street but giving birth shortly before police’s arrival These effects concentrate on the third trimester of gestation and seem to be driven by better access to prenatal care. No spillover effects were found for pregnancies living in areas adjacent to paciffication borders or on the supply of health services of hospitals located around pacified favelas. These results show how crime exposure is a channel for intergenerational transmission of poverty.