Did Post-9/11 Wiretap Legislation Increase Law Enforcement Productivity?
22 Pages Posted: 29 Jun 2017 Last revised: 5 Nov 2020
Date Written: August 15, 2019
The effect of law changes on public sector productivity is a growing, yet underresearched, area in economics. Nineteen states enacted state wiretapping legislation following the 9/11 terror attacks, the provisions of which mirror the provisions in the USA PATRIOT Act that relaxed the use of wiretap surveillance. Using a proxy variable approach, we estimate wiretap productivity in terms of producing arrests and convictions originating from wiretap orders issued on narcotics offenses from 1998 to 2005. We find that the post-9/11 state wiretap law changes increased the unobserved total factor productivity, a measure of productive efficiency.
Keywords: Wiretap, surveillance, law enforcement
JEL Classification: D24, K42
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation