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

  • Paolo Buonanno
  • Giovanni Mastrobuoni

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.

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Paper provided by Collegio Carlo Alberto in its series Carlo Alberto Notebooks with number 244.

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Length: 33 pages
Date of creation: 2012
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:cca:wpaper:244
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  1. Evans, William N. & Owens, Emily G., 2007. "COPS and crime," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 91(1-2), pages 181-201, February.
  2. Buonanno, Paolo & Leonida, Leone, 2009. "Non-market effects of education on crime: Evidence from Italian regions," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 28(1), pages 11-17, February.
  3. 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.
  4. Mirko Draca & Stephen Machin & Robert Witt, 2008. "Panic on the Streets of London: Police, Crime and the July 2005 Terror Attacks," CEP Discussion Papers dp0852, Centre for Economic Performance, LSE.
  5. H. Naci Mocan & Hope Corman, 2000. "A Time-Series Analysis of Crime, Deterrence, and Drug Abuse in New York City," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 90(3), pages 584-604, June.
  6. Jeff Grogger, 1997. "Market Wages and Youth Crime," NBER Working Papers 5983, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  7. Poutvaara, Panu & Priks, Mikael, 2009. "The effect of police intelligence on group violence: Evidence from reassignments in Sweden," Munich Reprints in Economics 19791, University of Munich, Department of Economics.
  8. Richard B. Freeman, 1991. "Crime and the Employment of Disadvantaged Youths," NBER Working Papers 3875, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  9. Daniel S. Hamermesh & Gerard A. Pfann, 1996. "Adjustment Costs in Factor Demand," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 34(3), pages 1264-1292, September.
  10. Cameron, Samuel, 1988. "The Economics of Crime Deterrence: A Survey of Theory and Evidence," Kyklos, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 41(2), pages 301-23.
  11. Griliches, Zvi & Hausman, Jerry A., 1986. "Errors in variables in panel data," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 31(1), pages 93-118, February.
  12. Fajnzylber, Pablo & Lederman, Daniel & Loayza, Norman, 2002. "What causes violent crime?," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 46(7), pages 1323-1357, July.
  13. Eric D. Gould & Bruce A. Weinberg & David B. Mustard, 2002. "Crime Rates And Local Labor Market Opportunities In The United States: 1979-1997," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 84(1), pages 45-61, February.
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