Production costs of deaths by external
 causes in Brazil

Alexandre Xavier de Carvalho YWATA[1]

Daniel R. C. CERQUEIRA[2]


Waldir J. A. LOBÃO[3]

§    ABSTRACT: Violence in Brazil is well known to be one of the biggest issues nowadays affecting society. This problem incurs in several economic costs, in addition to all kinds of immeasurable costs due to life losses. For the economic costs, one can mention medical treatment costs, police maintenance costs, production costs. This paper focuses on the latest cost type, and a methodology to estimate the production loss due to deaths from external causes in Brazil is presented, using government databases on wages and registered obits. To combine different sources of data, non-parametric regression methods are initially employed to estimate average surfaces of annual wages. These surfaces are then used to estimate the production loss for specific categories of registered obits. The analysis is complemented by adjustments for survival rates in the Brazilian population. For 2001, the total estimated cost, due to external causes, was US$ 10 billion. Homicides alone accounted for US$ 4.5 billion, while traffic accidents accounted for U$ 2.6 billion and suicides incurred in a total loss of US$ 0.6 billion. Estimations for total loss in terms of life expectancy are also presented: the total number was almost 5 million years lost, only for the victims in 2001. One of the main reasons for these figures is the high percentage of young victims.

§    KEY-WORDS: Production costs; homicides; traffic accidents; non-parametric methods; wage surfaces.


[1] Diretoria de Estudos Regionais, Urbanos e Fiscais ; Instituto de Pesquisa Econômica Aplicada – IPEA; SBS - Quadra 1 - Bloco J - Ed. BNDES ; 70076-900 - Brasília - DF – Brasil. E-mail:

[2] Diretoria de Estudos Macroeconômicos; Instituto de Pesquisa Econômica Aplicada – IPEA; Métodos Quantitativos; SBS - Quadra 1 - Bloco J - Ed. BNDES ; 70076-900 - Brasília - DF – Brasil.

[3] Escola Nacional de Ciências Estatísticas – Ence/IBGE; Brasília - DF – Brasil.