NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH
NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH
loading...

Place-Based Interventions at Scale: The Direct and Spillover Effects of Policing and City Services on Crime

Christopher Blattman, Donald Green, Daniel Ortega, Santiago Tobón

NBER Working Paper No. 23941
Issued in October 2017, Revised in September 2018
NBER Program(s):Development Economics

Cities target police patrols and public services to control crime. What are the direct and spillover effects of such targeted state services? In 2016 the city of Bogotá, Colombia, experimented on an unprecedented scale. They randomly assigned 1,919 streets to either 8 months of doubled police patrols, greater municipal services, both, or neither. We study how crime responds to intensifying normal state presence in moderate- to high-crime streets, and what this implies about criminal behavior. Scale also brings challenges. Spatial spillovers in dense networks introduce bias and complicate variance estimation through “fuzzy clustering.” But a design-based approach and randomization inference produce valid hypothesis tests in such settings. We find that increasing state presence has modest direct impacts, even when focusing on the highest-crime “hot spots.” More intense state presence deters more crime. But in most cases, however, crime appears to displace to neighboring streets. Property crimes seem most easily displaced, while violent crimes may not be. One interpretation is that crimes with a more sustained motive are more likely to displace than crimes of passion, which state presence may more permanently deter.

download in pdf format
   (7559 K)

email paper

Machine-readable bibliographic record - MARC, RIS, BibTeX

Document Object Identifier (DOI): 10.3386/w23941

Users who downloaded this paper also downloaded* these:
Donohue, Aneja, and Weber w23510 Right-to-Carry Laws and Violent Crime: A Comprehensive Assessment Using Panel Data and a State-Level Synthetic Control Analysis
Akram, Chowdhury, and Mobarak w23929 Effects of Emigration on Rural Labor Markets
Beattie, Durante, Knight, and Sen w23940 Advertising Spending and Media Bias: Evidence from News Coverage of Car Safety Recalls
Blattman, Jamison, and Sheridan w21204 Reducing crime and violence: Experimental evidence from cognitive behavioral therapy in Liberia
Sorkin w23938 Ranking Firms Using Revealed Preference
 
Publications
Activities
Meetings
NBER Videos
Themes
Data
People
About

National Bureau of Economic Research, 1050 Massachusetts Ave., Cambridge, MA 02138; 617-868-3900; email: info@nber.org

Contact Us