NBER Working Papers and Publications
|September 2019||The Efficient Deployment of Police Resources: Theory and New Evidence from a Randomized Drunk Driving Crackdown in India|
with Abhijit Banerjee, Esther Duflo, Nina Singh: w26224
Should police activity be narrowly focused and high force, or widely-dispersed but of moderate intensity? Critics of intense “hot spot” policing argue it primarily displaces, not reduces, crime. But if learning about enforcement takes time, the police may take advantage of this period to intervene intensively in the most productive location. We propose a multi-armed bandit model of criminal learning and structurally estimate its parameters using data from a randomized controlled experiment on an anti-drunken driving campaign in Rajasthan, India. In each police station, sobriety checkpoints were either rotated among 3 locations or fixed in the best location, and the intensity of the crackdown was cross-randomized. Rotating checkpoints reduced night accidents by 17%, and night deaths by 25%,...
|September 2014||Dutch Disease or Agglomeration? The Local Economic Effects of Natural Resource Booms in Modern America|
with Hunt Allcott: w20508
Do natural resources benefit producer economies, or is there a “Natural Resource Curse,”0 perhaps as the crowd-out of manufacturing productivity spillovers reduces long-term growth? We combine new data on oil and gas endowments with Census of Manufactures microdata to estimate how oil and gas booms affect local economies in the United States. Local wages rise during oil and gas booms, but manufacturing is not crowded out—in fact, the sector grows overall, driven by upstream and locally-traded subsectors. Tradable manufacturing subsectors do contract during resource booms, but their productivity is unaffected, so there is no evidence of foregone local learning-by-doing effects. Over the full 1969-2014 sample, a county with one standard deviation additional oil and gas endowment averaged abo...
Published: Hunt Allcott & Daniel Keniston, 2018. "Dutch Disease or Agglomeration? The Local Economic Effects of Natural Resource Booms in Modern America," The Review of Economic Studies, vol 85(2), pages 695-731.
|Creative Destruction: Barriers to Urban Growth and the Great Boston Fire of 1872|
with Richard Hornbeck: w20467
Historical city growth, in the United States and worldwide, has required remarkable transformation of outdated durable buildings. Private land-use decisions may generate inefficiencies, however, due to externalities and various rigidities. This paper analyzes new plot-level data in the aftermath of the Great Boston Fire of 1872, estimating substantial economic gains from the created opportunity for widespread reconstruction. An important mechanism appears to be positive externalities from neighbors' reconstruction. Strikingly, gains from this opportunity for urban redevelopment were sufficiently large that increases in land values were comparable to the previous value of all buildings burned.
Published: Richard Hornbeck & Daniel Keniston, 2017. "Creative Destruction: Barriers to Urban Growth and the Great Boston Fire of 1872," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 107(6), pages 1365-1398, June. citation courtesy of
|March 2012||Improving Police Performance in Rajasthan, India: Experimental Evidence on Incentives, Managerial Autonomy and Training|
with Abhijit Banerjee, Raghabendra Chattopadhyay, Esther Duflo, Nina Singh: w17912
The role of good management practices in organizations has recently been emphasized. Do the same principles also apply in government organizations, even the most bureaucratic and hierarchical of them? And can skilled, motivated managers identify how to improve these practices, or is there a role for outsiders to help them in this task? Two unique large-scale randomized trials conducted in collaboration with the state police of Rajasthan, India sought to increase police efficiency and improve interactions with the public. In a sample of 162 police stations serving almost 8 million people, the first experiment tested four interventions recommended by police reform panels: limitations of arbitrary transfers, rotation of duty assignments and days off, increased community involvement, and on-du...