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Police Patrols and Crime

Jordi Blanes i Vidal () and Giovanni Mastrobuoni ()
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Jordi Blanes i Vidal: London School of Economics

No 11393, IZA Discussion Papers from Institute of Labor Economics (IZA)

Abstract: An influential literature has used the aftermath of terrorist attacks to estimate large effects of police street deployment on crime. However, the elasticities obtained in these settings may not easily extrapolate to more standard circumstances. This paper exploits a natural experiment that aimed to increase police presence in more than 6,000 well-defined areas, by economically-realistic amounts and under relatively normal circumstances. Using data transmitted by GPS devices worn by police officers, we first document exogenous and discontinuous changes in patrolling intensity. We do not find that these increases in patrolling were accompanied by corresponding decreases in crime. The standard errors are small enough to reject relatively small elasticities. We discuss and empirically evaluate explanations for our findings.

Keywords: police; crime; natural experiments; deterrence (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: D29 K40 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Pages: 45 pages
Date: 2018-03
New Economics Papers: this item is included in nep-law and nep-ure
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Citations: View citations in EconPapers (7) Track citations by RSS feed

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