The Effect of Order-Maintenance Policing on Serious and Non-Serious Crime: Evidence from a Quasi-Experiment

49 Pages Posted: 7 Aug 2009 Last revised: 31 Jul 2013

Andrea Cann Chandrasekher

University of California, Davis - School of Law

Date Written: August 1, 2009

Abstract

This paper presents quasi-experimental evidence on the effect of order-maintenance policing on both serious and non-serious crime. In 1997, the New York City Police Department engaged in a nine-month ticket-writing slowdown in response to a long and contentious wage contract negotiation. As a result of this labor action, parking, traffic, and criminal summonses fell by 51, 42, and 23 percent respectively. Drawing on several different data sources, I use this exogenous variation in summons-writing to empirically test whether serious and non-serious crimes are deterred by low-level, order maintenance policing. I find that, citywide, complaints for both serious and non-serious crimes increased during the slowdown period. However, a borough-by-borough comparison of crime rates during the slowdown period reveals that the patrol boroughs that participated the most in the ticket-writing slowdown experienced statistically indistinguishable increases in crime when compared to the boroughs that participated the least. These results suggest that order-maintenance policing does not have an effect on either serious crime or on non-serious crime.

Keywords: policing, slowdowns, quasi-experiments

JEL Classification: K14, J5

Suggested Citation

Chandrasekher, Andrea Cann, The Effect of Order-Maintenance Policing on Serious and Non-Serious Crime: Evidence from a Quasi-Experiment (August 1, 2009). CELS 2009 4th Annual Conference on Empirical Legal Studies Paper. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1443495 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.1443495

Andrea Cann Chandrasekher (Contact Author)

University of California, Davis - School of Law ( email )

Martin Luther King, Jr. Hall
Davis, CA CA 95616-5201
United States

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