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Crime and arrests: deterrence or resource reallocation?

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  • Thomas A. Garrett
  • Lesli S. Ott

Abstract

We use monthly time-series data for 20 large U.S. cities to test the deterrence hypothesis (arrests reduce crimes) and the resource reallocation hypothesis (arrests follow from an increase in crime). We find (1) weak support for the deterrence hypothesis, (2) much stronger support for the resource reallocation hypothesis, and (3) differences in city-level estimates suggest much heterogeneity in the crime and arrest relationship across regions.

Suggested Citation

  • Thomas A. Garrett & Lesli S. Ott, 2010. "Crime and arrests: deterrence or resource reallocation?," Working Papers 2010-011, Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis.
  • Handle: RePEc:fip:fedlwp:2010-011
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Klick, Jonathan & Tabarrok, Alexander, 2005. "Using Terror Alert Levels to Estimate the Effect of Police on Crime," Journal of Law and Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 48(1), pages 267-279, April.
    2. Corman, Hope & Mocan, Naci, 2005. "Carrots, Sticks, and Broken Windows," Journal of Law and Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 48(1), pages 235-266, April.
    3. 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.
    4. 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.
    5. Cornwell, Christopher & Trumbull, William N, 1994. "Estimating the Economic Model of Crime with Panel Data," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 76(2), pages 360-366, May.
    6. Edward L. Glaeser & Bruce Sacerdote, 1999. "Why Is There More Crime in Cities?," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 107(S6), pages 225-258, December.
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    Cited by:

    1. Yu Liu & Thomas M. Fullerton Jr. & Nathan J. Ashby, 2013. "Assessing The Impacts Of Labor Market And Deterrence Variables On Crime Rates In Mexico," Contemporary Economic Policy, Western Economic Association International, vol. 31(4), pages 669-690, October.

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    Keywords

    Crime ; Cities and towns;

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