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Pushing Crime Around the Corner? Estimating Experimental Impacts of Large-Scale Security Interventions

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  • Christopher Blattman
  • Donald Green
  • Daniel Ortega
  • Santiago Tobón

Abstract

Bogotá intensified state presence to make high-crime streets safer. We show that spillovers outweighed direct effects on security. We randomly assigned 1,919 “hot spot” streets to eight months of doubled policing, increased municipal services, both, or neither. Spillovers in dense networks cause “fuzzy clustering,” and we show valid hypothesis testing requires randomization inference. State presence improved security on hot spots. But data from all streets suggest that intensive policing pushed property crime around the corner, with ambiguous impacts on violent crime. Municipal services had positive but imprecise spillovers. These results contrast with prior studies concluding policing has positive spillovers.

Suggested Citation

  • Christopher Blattman & Donald Green & Daniel Ortega & Santiago Tobón, 2017. "Pushing Crime Around the Corner? Estimating Experimental Impacts of Large-Scale Security Interventions," NBER Working Papers 23941, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  • Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:23941
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. 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.
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    Cited by:

    1. Emily Breza & Cynthia Kinnan, 2018. "Measuring the Equilibrium Impacts of Credit: Evidence from the Indian Microfinance Crisis," Working Papers id:12587, eSocialSciences.

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • C93 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Design of Experiments - - - Field Experiments
    • K42 - Law and Economics - - Legal Procedure, the Legal System, and Illegal Behavior - - - Illegal Behavior and the Enforcement of Law
    • O10 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - General

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