Spillover Effects in Police Use of Force

63 Pages Posted: 16 Jan 2020

See all articles by Justin Holz

Justin Holz

University of Chicago, Harris School of Public Policy, Students; University of Chicago

Roman Rivera

Columbia University

Bocar A. Ba

University of Pennsylvania

Date Written: December 19, 2019


We study the link between officer injuries-on-duty and the force-use of their peers using a network of officers who, through a random lottery, began the police academy together. We find that peer injuries-on-duty increase the probability of using force by 7%. The effect is concentrated in a narrow time window near the event and is not associated with significantly lower injury risk to the officer. Complaints of improper searches and failure to provide service also increase after peer injuries, suggesting that the increase in force might be driven by heightened risk aversion.

Keywords: determinants & factors affecting police use of force, effect of traumatic events & emotions on decision-making, risk aversion, peer networks, empirical analysis, law and economics, law enforcement, policing

JEL Classification: B55, D81, D83, J01, K00, K10, K42

Suggested Citation

Holz, Justin and Holz, Justin and Rivera, Roman and Ba, Bocar A., Spillover Effects in Police Use of Force (December 19, 2019). U of Penn, Inst for Law & Econ Research Paper No. 20-03, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3519968 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.3519968

Justin Holz

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

Chicago, IL
United States

University of Chicago ( email )

1101 East 58th Street
Chicago, IL 60637
United States

Roman Rivera

Columbia University ( email )

3022 Broadway
New York, NY 10027
United States

Bocar A. Ba (Contact Author)

University of Pennsylvania ( email )

3501 Sansom Street
Philadelphia, PA 19104
United States

Do you have a job opening that you would like to promote on SSRN?

Paper statistics

Abstract Views
PlumX Metrics