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Public Order and Private Payments: Paying for Police Services at Events


  • Nyberg, Sten

    () (Dept. of Economics, Stockholm University)

  • Priks, Mikael

    () (Dept. of Economics, Stockholm University)


Should organizers of events, such as sport games or concerts, share the costs of maintaining public order in connection to the events? This question has been hotly debated in many countries, especially in connection to soccer hooliganism. Critics argue that organizers should do more to combat unruly behavior, which has significant external effects. The incentive to do so may be muted by the possibility of free riding on the police. We model how co-payments can address the under-provision of security on the part of organizers. However, it has been claimed that co-payments can backfire and lead financially constrained organizers to instead provide less, not more, security. We analyze under which circumstances this may be true. Finally, we exploit a natural experiment from the Swedish soccer league where police payments were introduced for some clubs only. The results are in line with the implications of the model.

Suggested Citation

  • Nyberg, Sten & Priks, Mikael, 2014. "Public Order and Private Payments: Paying for Police Services at Events," Research Papers in Economics 2014:3, Stockholm University, Department of Economics.
  • Handle: RePEc:hhs:sunrpe:2014_0003

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Scott E. Atkinson & Linda R. Stanley & John Tschirhart, 1988. "Revenue Sharing as an Incentive in an Agency Problem: An example from the National Football League," RAND Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 19(1), pages 27-43, Spring.
    2. Olivier Marie, 2016. "Police and thieves in the stadium: measuring the (multiple) effects of football matches on crime," Journal of the Royal Statistical Society Series A, Royal Statistical Society, vol. 179(1), pages 273-292, January.
    3. Mikael Priks, 2014. "Do Surveillance Cameras Affect Unruly Behavior? A Close Look at Grandstands," Scandinavian Journal of Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 116(4), pages 1160-1179, October.
    4. Poutvaara, Panu & Priks, Mikael, 2009. "The effect of police intelligence on group violence: Evidence from reassignments in Sweden," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 93(3-4), pages 403-411, April.
    5. George J. Stigler, 1974. "The Optimum Enforcement of Laws," NBER Chapters,in: Essays in the Economics of Crime and Punishment, pages 55-67 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    6. Steven Shavell & A. Mitchell Polinsky, 2000. "The Economic Theory of Public Enforcement of Law," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 38(1), pages 45-76, March.
    7. Andrew Zimbalist, 2003. "Sport as Business," Oxford Review of Economic Policy, Oxford University Press, vol. 19(4), pages 503-511, Winter.
    8. Mikael Priks, 2013. "Singin' in the Rain: A Study of Social Pressure on the Soccer Field," CESifo Working Paper Series 4481, CESifo Group Munich.
    9. Pedro Garcia-del-Barrio & Stefan Szymanski, 2009. "Goal! Profit Maximization Versus Win Maximization in Soccer," Review of Industrial Organization, Springer;The Industrial Organization Society, vol. 34(1), pages 45-68, February.
    10. Sloane, Peter J, 1971. "The Economics of Professional Football: The Football Club as a Utility Maximiser," Scottish Journal of Political Economy, Scottish Economic Society, vol. 18(2), pages 121-146, June.
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    More about this item


    Public order; private security; public events; co-payments for police; free-riding; externality; hooliganism; natural experiment;

    JEL classification:

    • H23 - Public Economics - - Taxation, Subsidies, and Revenue - - - Externalities; Redistributive Effects; Environmental Taxes and Subsidies
    • H49 - Public Economics - - Publicly Provided Goods - - - Other
    • K42 - Law and Economics - - Legal Procedure, the Legal System, and Illegal Behavior - - - Illegal Behavior and the Enforcement of Law
    • L83 - Industrial Organization - - Industry Studies: Services - - - Sports; Gambling; Restaurants; Recreation; Tourism

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