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Police and Crime: Evidence from Dictated Delays in Centralized Police Hiring

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  • Paolo Buonanno
  • Giovanni Mastrobuoni

Abstract

This paper exploits dictated delays in local police hiring by a centralized national authority to break the simultaneity between police and crime. In Italy police o?cers can only be hired through lengthy national public contests which the Parliament, the President, and the Court of Auditors need to approve. Typically it takes three years before the requested police o?cers are recruited and become operational. We show that this endogeneity vanishes once, controlling for countrywide year e?ects, we use positive changes in the number of police o?cers. The availability of data on two police forces, specialized in ?ghting di?erent crimes, provides convincing counterfactual evidence on the robustness of our results. Despite the ine?cient hiring system, regular Italian police forces seem to be as e?cient in ?ghting crimes as the US ones, with two notable exceptions: auto thefts and burglaries.

Suggested Citation

  • Paolo Buonanno & Giovanni Mastrobuoni, 2012. "Police and Crime: Evidence from Dictated Delays in Centralized Police Hiring," Carlo Alberto Notebooks 244, Collegio Carlo Alberto.
  • Handle: RePEc:cca:wpaper:244
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    2. Galbiati, Roberto & Zanella, Giulio, 2012. "The tax evasion social multiplier: Evidence from Italy," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 96(5), pages 485-494.
    3. Paul Heaton & Priscillia Hunt & John MacDonald & Jessica Saunders, 2016. "The Short- and Long-Run Effects of Private Law Enforcement: Evidence from University Police," Journal of Law and Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 59(4), pages 889-912.

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    police; crime;

    JEL classification:

    • H7 - Public Economics - - State and Local Government; Intergovernmental Relations
    • H72 - Public Economics - - State and Local Government; Intergovernmental Relations - - - State and Local Budget and Expenditures
    • H76 - Public Economics - - State and Local Government; Intergovernmental Relations - - - Other Expenditure Categories

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