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Do 'Broken Windows' Matter? Identifying Dynamic Spillovers in Criminal Behavior

Author

Listed:
  • Gregorio Caetano

    () (University of Rochester)

  • Vikram Maheshri

    () (University of Houston)

Abstract

The “Broken Windows†theory of crime prescribes “zero-tolerance†law enforcement policies that disproportionately target light crimes with the understanding that this will lead to future reductions of more severe crimes. We provide evidence against the effectiveness of such policies using a novel database from Dallas. Our identification strategy explores detailed geographic and temporal variation to isolate the causal behavioral effect of prior crimes on future crimes and is robust to a variety of sources of potential endogeneity. We also estimate the effectiveness of alternative targeting policies to discuss the efficiency of “Broken Windows†inspired policies.

Suggested Citation

  • Gregorio Caetano & Vikram Maheshri, 2013. "Do 'Broken Windows' Matter? Identifying Dynamic Spillovers in Criminal Behavior," Working Papers 2013-252-22, Department of Economics, University of Houston.
  • Handle: RePEc:hou:wpaper:2013-252-22
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. Zhang, Haimin, 2014. "Immigration and Crime: Evidence from Canada," CLSSRN working papers clsrn_admin-2014-20, Vancouver School of Economics, revised 28 Apr 2014.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Crime; Social Interactions; Broken Windows;

    JEL classification:

    • K - Law and Economics
    • R - Urban, Rural, Regional, Real Estate, and Transportation Economics

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