Impact of Law Enforcement Activities on Risk of Firearm Deaths in Brazilian Cities

Kenneth H. Tiedemann


cause of death, firearms, law enforcement, mortality rates


Brazil is one of the most violent societies in the world, with death rates from firearms greater than those of most countries, excluding Columbia and El Salvador. This study examines the impact of law enforcement activities on risk of firearm deaths in major Brazilian cities, using cross section data regression analysis. Key findings include the following. First, major causes of external death for all Brazilians are non-firearm related causes at 48.2%, road traffic crashes at 27.8% and firearms at 24.0%. Second, overall firearm related death rates are more than ten times higher for males than for females. Third, an increase in the level of income increases the potential rewards from crime and increases the death rate from firearms, while an increase in enforcement actions reduces the rewards from crime and reduces the death rate from firearms. These findings suggest that further focussed enforcement activities could reduce the risk of firearm deaths in Brazil.

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