The Short- and Long-Run Effects of Private Law Enforcement: Evidence from University Police

41 Pages Posted: 7 Aug 2017

See all articles by Paul S. Heaton

Paul S. Heaton

University of Pennsylvania Law School

Priscillia Hunt

RAND Corporation

John MacDonald

University of Pennsylvania

Jessica Saunders

RAND Corporation

Multiple version iconThere are 2 versions of this paper

Date Written: 2016

Abstract

Over a million people in the United States are employed in private security and law enforcement, yet very little is known about the effects of private police on crime. The current study examines the relationship between a privately-funded university police force and crime in a large U.S. city. Following an expansion of the jurisdictional boundary of the private police force, we see no short-term change in crime. However, using a geographic regression discontinuity approach, we find large impacts of private police on public safety, with violent crime in particular decreasing. These contradictory results appear to be a consequence of delayed effect of private police on crime.

Keywords: Empirical legal studies, law enforcement, University of Chicago Police Department, UCPD, private police, police effectiveness, geographic regression discontinuity

JEL Classification: K42, H41

Suggested Citation

Heaton, Paul S. and Hunt, Priscillia and MacDonald, John and Saunders, Jessica, The Short- and Long-Run Effects of Private Law Enforcement: Evidence from University Police (2016). Journal of Law and Economics, Vol. 59, p. 889, 2016, U of Penn, Inst for Law & Econ Research Paper No. 17-33, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3013723

Paul S. Heaton (Contact Author)

University of Pennsylvania Law School ( email )

3501 Sansom Street
Philadelphia, PA 19104
United States

HOME PAGE: http://https://www.law.upenn.edu/cf/faculty/pheaton/

Priscillia Hunt

RAND Corporation ( email )

1776 Main Street
P.O. Box 2138
Santa Monica, CA 90407-2138
United States

John MacDonald

University of Pennsylvania ( email )

483 McNeil Building
3718 Locust Walk
Philadelphia, PA 19104
United States
215-646-3623 (Phone)

HOME PAGE: http://www.crim.upenn.edu/faculty_macdonald.htm

Jessica Saunders

RAND Corporation ( email )

1776 Main Street
P.O. Box 2138
Santa Monica, CA 90407-2138
United States

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