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Police Bureaucracies, Their Incentives, and the War on Drugs

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Author Info

  • Benson, Bruce L
  • Rasmussen, David W
  • Sollars, David L

Abstract

After 1984, local law enforcement agencies in the United States substantially increased arrests for drug offenses relative to arrests for property and violent crimes. This paper explores why this reallocation of police resources occurred, focusing on alternative 'public interest' and bureaucratic self-interest explanations. The Comprehensive Crime Act of 1984 is shown to have altered the incentives of police agencies by allowing them to keep the proceeds of assets forfeited as a result of drug enforcement activities. Empirical evidence is presented which shows that police agencies can increase their discretionary budgets through the asset forfeiture process. Copyright 1995 by Kluwer Academic Publishers

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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by Springer in its journal Public Choice.

Volume (Year): 83 (1995)
Issue (Month): 1-2 (April)
Pages: 21-45

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Handle: RePEc:kap:pubcho:v:83:y:1995:i:1-2:p:21-45

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Web page: http://www.springerlink.com/link.asp?id=100332

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Cited by:
  1. Skarbek, David, 2012. "Prison gangs, norms, and organizations," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 82(1), pages 96-109.
  2. Holcomb, Jefferson E. & Kovandzic, Tomislav V. & Williams, Marian R., 2011. "Civil asset forfeiture, equitable sharing, and policing for profit in the United States," Journal of Criminal Justice, Elsevier, vol. 39(3), pages 273-285, May.
  3. Gerald Kennally, 2001. "Regulating the Trade in Recreational Drugs," European Journal of Law and Economics, Springer, vol. 11(1), pages 69-82, January.
  4. Christian Almer & Timo Goeschl, 2011. "The political economy of the environmental criminal justice system: a production function approach," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 148(3), pages 611-630, September.
  5. Amanda Ross & Anne Walker, 2014. "Low Priority Laws and the Allocation of Police Resources," Working Papers 14-06, Department of Economics, West Virginia University.
  6. Metin M. Cosgel & Haggay Etkes & Thomas J. Miceli, 2010. "Private Law Enforcement, Fine Sharing, and Tax Collection: Theory and Historical Evidence," Working papers 2010-03, University of Connecticut, Department of Economics.
  7. Carlos Casacuberta & Mariana Gerstenblüth & Patricia Triunfo, 2012. "Aportes del análisis económico al estudio de las drogas," Documentos de Trabajo (working papers) 0112, Department of Economics - dECON.
  8. Christian Almer & Timo Goeschl, 2010. "Environmental Crime and Punishment: Empirical Evidence from the German Penal Code," Land Economics, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 86(4), pages 707-726.
  9. Baicker, Katherine & Jacobson, Mireille, 2007. "Finders keepers: Forfeiture laws, policing incentives, and local budgets," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 91(11-12), pages 2113-2136, December.

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