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The effect of police on crime, disorder and victim precaution. Evidence from a Dutch victimization survey

  • Vollaard, Ben
  • Koning, Pierre

Using individual data from a large-scale Dutch crime victimization survey, we are able to expand the analysis of the effect of police on crime to crimes types that do not easily find their way into police statistics, and to public disorder and victim precaution. To address heterogeneity and simultaneity in the relation between police and crime, we model the police funding formula - used to distribute police resources across municipalities - to identify the endogenous variation in police levels. We use the remaining variation in police levels to identify the effect of police. We find significantly negative effects of higher police levels on property and violent crime, public disorder, and victim precaution. The effect on victim precaution is a hitherto largely ignored benefit of higher police levels not reflected in lower rates of crime and public disorder.

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Article provided by Elsevier in its journal International Review of Law and Economics.

Volume (Year): 29 (2009)
Issue (Month): 4 (December)
Pages: 336-348

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Handle: RePEc:eee:irlaec:v:29:y:2009:i:4:p:336-348
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  1. Ziggy MacDonald, 2002. "Official Crime Statistics: Their Use and Interpretation," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 112(477), pages F85-F106, February.
  2. Steven D. Levitt, 2002. "Using Electoral Cycles in Police Hiring to Estimate the Effects of Police on Crime: Reply," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 92(4), pages 1244-1250, September.
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  7. 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.
  8. Tauchen, Helen & Witte, Ann Dryden & Griesinger, Harriet, 1994. "Criminal Deterrence: Revisiting the Issue with a Birth Cohort," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 76(3), pages 399-412, August.
  9. Jonathan Klick & Alexander Tabarrok, . "Using Terror Alert Levels to Estimate the Effect of Police on Crime," American Law & Economics Association Annual Meetings 1042, American Law & Economics Association.
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