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Pushing Crime Around the Corner? Estimating Experimental Impacts of Large-Scale Security Interventions

70 Pages Posted: 12 Oct 2017  

Christopher Blattman

University of Chicago, Harris School of Public Policy; National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)

Donald P. Green

Columbia University

Daniel Ortega

CAF Development Bank of Latin America

Santiago Tobon

University of Chicago; Universidad de los Andes, Colombia - Department of Economics; Innovations for Poverty Action

Multiple version iconThere are 2 versions of this paper

Date Written: October 10, 2017

Abstract

Bogotá intensified state presence to make high-crime streets safer. We show that spillovers outweighed direct effects on security. We randomly assigned 1,919 “hot spot” streets to eight months of doubled policing, increased municipal services, both, or neither. Spillovers in dense networks cause “fuzzy clustering,” and we show valid hypothesis testing requires randomization inference. State presence improved security on hot spots. But data from all streets suggest that intensive policing pushed property crime around the corner, with ambiguous impacts on violent crime. Municipal services had positive but imprecise spillovers. These results contrast with prior studies concluding policing has positive spillovers.

Keywords: Crime, Violence, Police, Public Services, State Building, Spillovers, Field Experiment

JEL Classification: K42, O17, E26, J48, C93

Suggested Citation

Blattman, Christopher and Green, Donald P. and Ortega, Daniel and Tobon, Santiago, Pushing Crime Around the Corner? Estimating Experimental Impacts of Large-Scale Security Interventions (October 10, 2017). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3050823

Christopher Blattman (Contact Author)

University of Chicago, Harris School of Public Policy ( email )

1101 East 58th Street
Chicago, IL 60637
United States

National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER) ( email )

1050 Massachusetts Avenue
Cambridge, MA 02138
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Donald Green

Columbia University ( email )

7th Floor, International Affairs Bldg.
420 W. 118th Street
New York, NY 10027
United States

Daniel Ortega

CAF Development Bank of Latin America ( email )

Ave. Luis Roche
P.O. Box Carmelitas 5086 Torre CAF, Altamira
Caracas
United States

Santiago Tobon

University of Chicago ( email )

1155 East 60th Street
Chicago, IL 60637
United States

Universidad de los Andes, Colombia - Department of Economics ( email )

Carrera 1a No. 18A-10
Santafe de Bogota, AA4976
Colombia

Innovations for Poverty Action ( email )

1731 Connecticut Ave, 4th floor
New Haven, CT 20009
United States

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