Police Reorganization and Crime: Evidence from Police Station Closures

65 Pages Posted: 25 Oct 2018 Last revised: 9 Jan 2019

See all articles by Sebastian Blesse

Sebastian Blesse

ZEW – Leibniz Centre for European Economic Research

André Diegmann (geb. Nolte)

Centre for European Economic Research (ZEW); Institute for Employment Research (IAB)

Date Written: October 1, 2018

Abstract

Policy makers often try to optimize local law enforcement by reorganizing police forces. We study the effects of police reallocation via station closures on municipal crime by exploiting a quasi-experiment where a centrally administered reform substantially reduced the number of police stations. Combining a matching strategy with an event-study design, we do not find aggregate effects on crime. Instead, we find changes in the way theft is committed. We observe increases in car theft, apartment and basement burglary but less bicycle theft. We argue that station closures provide an opportunity for criminals to shift from low-value to high-value theft.

Keywords: Crime, Deterrence, Police Centralization, Efficiency of Law Enforcement

JEL Classification: K42, R53

Suggested Citation

Blesse, Sebastian and Diegmann, André, Police Reorganization and Crime: Evidence from Police Station Closures (October 1, 2018). ZEW - Centre for European Economic Research Discussion Paper No. 18-044. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3272123 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.3272123

Sebastian Blesse (Contact Author)

ZEW – Leibniz Centre for European Economic Research ( email )

P.O. Box 10 34 43
L 7,1
D-68034 Mannheim, 68034
Germany

André Diegmann

Centre for European Economic Research (ZEW) ( email )

P.O. Box 10 34 43
L 7,1
D-68034 Mannheim, 68034
Germany

Institute for Employment Research (IAB) ( email )

Regensburger Str. 104
Nuremberg, 90478
Germany

Register to save articles to
your library

Register

Paper statistics

Downloads
14
Abstract Views
235
PlumX Metrics