UBC Theses and Dissertations

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UBC Theses and Dissertations

Essays on urban violence and health Peçanha, Vinicius


Chapters 2 and 3 analyze a place-based policy that reduced the effects of lowering lethal violence at the neighborhood level for several years in some of the most violent neighborhoods on earth. Chapter 2 discusses how this reduction affects short-run learning gains, employment, and incarceration for treated individuals in their early adulthood. The policy increases human capital for students in the short run. Fewer disruptions in the school routine, less student absenteeism, and a safer environment \textit{within} school drive these results. Moreover, younger individuals have a substantially lower likelihood of being incarcerated later. Chapter 3 evaluates the spatial spillover induced by the policy. I find that the program decreased homicides and police killings in treated areas and did not cause crime displacement to other places in Rio de Janeiro. There is suggestive evidence of crime migration to areas in Rio's metropolitan region and the state's countryside. In Chapter 4, I investigate how localized heat stress affects vulnerable populations \emph{within} the city of Rio de Janeiro. It is known that temperature shocks increase mortality, and the link is primarily via human physiology. However, most of this evidence comes from cross-city and epidemiological studies in developed countries. This chapter examines the heat-mortality relationship at a fine-grained level within Rio de Janeiro. We rely on novel satellite imagery sources on temperature and administrative health records at the individual level to build a neighborhood-by-month panel over 14 years. Heat stress increases all-cause mortality in individuals aged 60 years or older but does not affect other age groups. In particular, we find that hot days in a typical month in Rio account for 2\% of cardiovascular deaths in the population 60+. Access to preventive health care can attenuate the marginal effect of temperature on these deaths. We conclude that temperature shocks are localized within cities, implying that remedial policies should also be localized.

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