Wage Regulation and the Quality of Police Applicants

34 Pages Posted: 17 Sep 2018

See all articles by Rowena Crawford

Rowena Crawford

Institute for Fiscal Studies (IFS)

Richard Disney

University of Sussex

Date Written: October 2018


Pay structures may not reflect differences in individual productivity and effort; in particular, public pay regulation can distort labour markets. We analyse the impact of nationally regulated pay on the quality of applicants to be police officers across England and Wales, exploiting a unique dataset of individual test scores from the national assessment required of all police applicants, and combining this with data on local labour markets and policing conditions. National wage setting impacts on the quality of police applicants through two channels: first, through spatial variations in the relative wage of policing compared to other occupations, and second, because national wages cannot compensate for local variations in the disamenity of policing. We also provide preliminary evidence on whether police recruit quality is associated with police force performance.

Suggested Citation

Crawford, Rowena and Disney, Richard, Wage Regulation and the Quality of Police Applicants (October 2018). Economica, Vol. 85, Issue 340, pp. 701-734, 2018. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3246026 or http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/ecca.12270

Rowena Crawford (Contact Author)

Institute for Fiscal Studies (IFS) ( email )

7 Ridgmount Street
London, WC1E 7AE
United Kingdom

Richard Disney

University of Sussex ( email )

Sussex House
Brighton, Sussex BNI 9RH
United Kingdom

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