Organizational Structure, Police Activity and Crime
Tel Aviv University - The Leon Recanati Graduate School of Business Administration
Hebrew University of Jerusalem - Faculty of Law
Ben-Gurion University of the Negev
August 3, 2013
Journal of Public Economics 115: 62-71 (2014)
We examine the consequences of an organizational reform in Israel that transferred the responsibility for housing arrestees from the Police to the Prison Authority. Using the staggered introduction of the reform in different regions of the country, we document strong evidence that this organizational change led to an increase of 11 percent in the number of arrests and to a decrease of 4 percent in the number of reported crimes, with these effects concentrated in more minor crimes. The reform also led to a decrease in the quality of arrests, measured by the likelihood of being charged following an arrest. These findings are consistent with the idea that the reform externalized the cost of housing arrestees from the Police's perspective, and therefore led the Police to increase its activity against crime.
Number of Pages in PDF File: 29
Keywords: Organizational Structure, Economics of Crime, Jails, Arrests
JEL Classification: H10, K14, K40, L30
Date posted: September 17, 2013 ; Last revised: April 15, 2015
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