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

Author

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  • Buonanno, Paolo

    () (University of Bergamo)

  • Mastrobuoni, Giovanni

    () (Collegio Carlo Alberto)

Abstract

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 officers 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 officers are recruited and become operational. We show that this endogeneity vanishes once, controlling for countrywide year effects, we use positive changes in the number of police officers. The availability of data on two police forces, specialized in fighting different crimes, provides convincing counterfactual evidence on the robustness of our results. Despite the inefficient hiring system, regular Italian police forces seem to be as efficient in fighting crimes as the US ones, with two notable exceptions: auto thefts and burglaries.

Suggested Citation

  • Buonanno, Paolo & Mastrobuoni, Giovanni, 2012. "Police and Crime: Evidence from Dictated Delays in Centralized Police Hiring," IZA Discussion Papers 6477, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  • Handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp6477
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    1. repec:ucp:jlawec:doi:10.1086/690732 is not listed on IDEAS
    2. repec:oup:wbecrv:v:31:y:2017:i:2:p:570-594. is not listed on IDEAS
    3. Galbiati, Roberto & Zanella, Giulio, 2012. "The tax evasion social multiplier: Evidence from Italy," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 96(5), pages 485-494.
    4. Paul Heaton & Priscillia Hunt & John MacDonald & Jessica Saunders, 2016. "The Short- and Long-Run Effects of Private Law Enforcement: Evidence from University Police," Journal of Law and Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 59(4), pages 889-912.
    5. Daniel Mejía & Pascual Restrepo & Sandra V. Rozo, 2017. "On the Effects of Enforcement on Illegal Markets: Evidence from a Quasi-Experiment in Colombia," World Bank Economic Review, World Bank Group, vol. 31(2), pages 570-594.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    police; crime;

    JEL classification:

    • H7 - Public Economics - - State and Local Government; Intergovernmental Relations
    • H72 - Public Economics - - State and Local Government; Intergovernmental Relations - - - State and Local Budget and Expenditures
    • H76 - Public Economics - - State and Local Government; Intergovernmental Relations - - - Other Expenditure Categories

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