The limit of oversight in policing: Evidence from the 2001 Cincinnati riot
AbstractOversight in policing involves investigating officers for complaints against them and punishing them if found guilty. Officers commit errors in policing and, since reducing the error rate is costly, they cut down policing to avoid complaints. This paper tests the hypothesis that oversight reduces policing by exploiting a quasi-experiment: In April 2001, a riot erupted in Cincinnati after a white officer shot dead an unarmed African-American adolescent; the sharply increased media attention, a Justice Department investigation, together with a "racial profiling" lawsuit, exogenously raised the expected penalty of an officer's errors. Compared with the period from January 1999 to March 2001, arrests during the remaining months of 2001 fell substantially. The decline was more significant for offenses where the error rate was higher. Communities with a greater percentage of African-Americans experienced greater arrest reductions. Felony crime surged during the same period.
Download InfoIf you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.
As the access to this document is restricted, you may want to look for a different version under "Related research" (further below) or search for a different version of it.
Bibliographic InfoArticle provided by Elsevier in its journal Journal of Public Economics.
Volume (Year): 93 (2009)
Issue (Month): 1-2 (February)
Contact details of provider:
Web page: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/inca/505578
Incentives Oversight Police officers Crime;
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:
- Paul Heaton, 2010. "Understanding the Effects of Antiprofiling Policies," Journal of Law and Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 53(1), pages 29-64, 02.
- Levitt, Steven D, 1997.
"Using Electoral Cycles in Police Hiring to Estimate the Effect of Police on Crime,"
American Economic Review,
American Economic Association, vol. 87(3), pages 270-90, June.
- Steven D. Levitt, 1995. "Using Electoral Cycles in Police Hiring to Estimate the Effect of Policeon Crime," NBER Working Papers 4991, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Justin McCrary, 2002. "Using Electoral Cycles in Police Hiring to Estimate the Effect of Police on Crime: Comment," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 92(4), pages 1236-1243, September.
- Donohue, John J, III & Levitt, Steven D, 2001. "The Impact of Race on Policing and Arrests," Journal of Law and Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 44(2), pages 367-94, October.
- Avinash Dixit, 2002. "# Incentives and Organizations in the Public Sector: An Interpretative Review," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 37(4), pages 696-727.
- Bawn, Kathleen, 1997. "Choosing Strategies to Control the Bureaucracy: Statutory Constraints, Oversight, and the Committee System," Journal of Law, Economics and Organization, Oxford University Press, vol. 13(1), pages 101-26, April.
- Rafael Di Tella & Ernesto Schargrodsky, 2004. "Do Police Reduce Crime? Estimates Using the Allocation of Police Forces After a Terrorist Attack," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 94(1), pages 115-133, March.
- Canice Prendergast, 2001. "Selection and Oversight in the Public Sector, With the Los Angeles Police Department as an Example," NBER Working Papers 8664, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Lupia, Arthur & McCubbins, Mathew D, 1994. "Learning from Oversight: Fire Alarms and Police Patrols Reconstructed," Journal of Law, Economics and Organization, Oxford University Press, vol. 10(1), pages 96-125, April.
For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Zhang, Lei).
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.