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Organization and Information in the Fight against Crime: An Evaluation of the Integration of Police Forces in the State of Minas Gerais, Brazil

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  • Soares, Rodrigo R.

    () (Columbia University)

  • Viveiros, Igor

    () (Federal University of Ouro Preto)

Abstract

This paper explores the experience of information sharing, coordination, and integration of actions of the Civil and Military Polices in the state of Minas Gerais, Brazil, in the context of the IGESP program. The IGESP is based on the introduction of information management systems and organizational changes akin to those associated with COMPSTAT. All the evidence presented points to a causal effect of the IGESP on crime. The most conservative estimates indicate a reduction of 24% in property crimes and 13% in personal crimes. There is also evidence that the IGESP is associated with improved police response, measured by apprehension of weapons and clearance rates. We present one of the first set of causal estimates – with a clear identification strategy – of the impact of COMPSTAT-like programs. The results suggest that the coordination and informational gains represented by the program may constitute a first-order factor in a successful policy for fighting crime.

Suggested Citation

  • Soares, Rodrigo R. & Viveiros, Igor, 2010. "Organization and Information in the Fight against Crime: An Evaluation of the Integration of Police Forces in the State of Minas Gerais, Brazil," IZA Discussion Papers 5270, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  • Handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp5270
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Luis Garicano & Paul Heaton, 2010. "Information Technology, Organization, and Productivity in the Public Sector: Evidence from Police Departments," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 28(1), pages 167-201, January.
    2. Soares, Rodrigo R., 2004. "Development, crime and punishment: accounting for the international differences in crime rates," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 73(1), pages 155-184, February.
    3. Ciro Biderman & JoãoMP DeMello & Alexandre Schneider, 2010. "Dry Laws and Homicides: Evidence from the São Paulo Metropolitan Area," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 120(543), pages 157-182, March.
    4. 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.
    5. Sebastian Galiani & Paul Gertler & Ernesto Schargrodsky, 2005. "Water for Life: The Impact of the Privatization of Water Services on Child Mortality," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 113(1), pages 83-120, February.
    6. Levitt, Steven D, 1997. "Using Electoral Cycles in Police Hiring to Estimate the Effect of Police on Crime," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 87(3), pages 270-290, June.
    7. Soares, Rodrigo R, 2004. "Crime Reporting as a Measure of Institutional Development," Economic Development and Cultural Change, University of Chicago Press, vol. 52(4), pages 851-871, July.
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    Cited by:

    1. Vidal, Jordi Blanes I & Kirchmaier, Tom, 2015. "The effect of police response time on crime detection," LSE Research Online Documents on Economics 64979, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library.
    2. Durante, Ruben & Gutierrez, Emilio, 2015. "Fighting Crime with a Little Help from my Friends: Political Alignment, Inter-Jurisdictional Cooperation and Crime in Mexico," CEPR Discussion Papers 10769, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    COMPSTAT; Brazil; police; crime; impact evaluation;

    JEL classification:

    • H11 - Public Economics - - Structure and Scope of Government - - - Structure and Scope of Government
    • K00 - Law and Economics - - General - - - General (including Data Sources and Description)
    • K42 - Law and Economics - - Legal Procedure, the Legal System, and Illegal Behavior - - - Illegal Behavior and the Enforcement of Law

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