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The Effect of 311 Calls for Service on Crime in D.C. at Micro Places

42 Pages Posted: 2 May 2015 Last revised: 22 May 2017

Andrew Palmer Wheeler

University of Texas at Dallas - School of Economic, Political and Policy Sciences

Date Written: April 30, 2015

Abstract

This study tests the broken windows theory of crime by examining the relationship between 311 calls for service and crime at the street segment and intersection level in Washington, D.C. Controlling for a set of micro level covariates, as well as unobserved neighborhood level effects using negative binomial regression models, it is found that detritus and infrastructure related calls for service have a positive, but small effect on crime. The results suggest that 311 calls for service are a valid indicator of physical disorder where available, and the findings partially confirm the broken windows theory. Given the small effects though, reducing physical disorder is unlikely to result in appreciable declines in crime.

Keywords: 311, broken-windows, micro-place, street units, physical-disorder

Suggested Citation

Wheeler, Andrew Palmer, The Effect of 311 Calls for Service on Crime in D.C. at Micro Places (April 30, 2015). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2600950 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2600950

Andrew Wheeler (Contact Author)

University of Texas at Dallas - School of Economic, Political and Policy Sciences ( email )

P.O. Box 830688, GR 31
Richardson, TX 75083
United States

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