Did Post-9/11 Wiretap Law Changes Increase Law Enforcement Productivity?
20 Pages Posted: 29 Jun 2017 Last revised: 16 Sep 2020
Date Written: August 15, 2019
Positive theory of law and economics holds that legal rules develop in the direction of increasing economic efficiency. We examine this argument empirically in the context of post-9/11 state wiretap legislation. Nineteen states enacted state wiretapping legislation following the 9/11 terror attacks, the provisions of which mirror the provisions in the USA PATRIOT Act. We estimate wiretap productivity in terms of producing arrests and convictions originating from wiretap orders issued on narcotics offenses. We find that the post-9/11 state law changes increased the unobserved total factor productivity, a measure of productive efficiency.
Keywords: Wiretap, surveillance, drug, policing
JEL Classification: D24, K00, K42
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation