Police Officer Assignment and Neighborhood Crime

41 Pages Posted: 13 Sep 2021 Last revised: 27 Nov 2021

See all articles by Bocar A. Ba

Bocar A. Ba

University of Pennsylvania

Patrick J. Bayer

Duke University - Department of Economics; National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)

Nayoung Rim

United States Naval Academy - Department of Economics; University of Chicago - Harris School of Public Policy

Roman Rivera

Columbia University

Modibo Sidibe

Duke University

Date Written: September 2021

Abstract

We develop an empirical model of the mechanism used to assign police officers to Chicago districts and examine the efficiency and equity of alternative allocations. We document that the current bidding process, which grants priority based on seniority, results in the assignment of more experienced officers to less violent and high-income neighborhoods. Our empirical model combines estimates of heterogeneous officer preferences underlying the bidding process with causal estimates of the effects of officer experience on neighborhood crime. Equalizing officer seniority across districts would reduce violent crime rate by 4.6 percent and significantly decrease inequality in crime, discretionary arrests, and officer use of force across neighborhoods. Moreover, this assignment can be achieved in a revenue-neutral way while resulting in small welfare gains for police officers, implying that it is more equitable and efficient.

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Suggested Citation

Ba, Bocar A. and Bayer, Patrick J. and Rim, Nayoung and Rivera, Roman and Sidibe, Modibo, Police Officer Assignment and Neighborhood Crime (September 2021). NBER Working Paper No. w29243, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3922517

Bocar A. Ba (Contact Author)

University of Pennsylvania ( email )

3501 Sansom Street
Philadelphia, PA 19104
United States

Patrick J. Bayer

Duke University - Department of Economics ( email )

213 Social Sciences Building
Box 90097
Durham, NC 27708-0204
United States

National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)

1050 Massachusetts Avenue
Cambridge, MA 02138
United States

Nayoung Rim

United States Naval Academy - Department of Economics ( email )

589 McNair Road
Annapolis, MD 21402
United States

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

1155 East 60th Street
Chicago, IL 60637
United States

Roman Rivera

Columbia University ( email )

3022 Broadway
New York, NY 10027
United States

Modibo Sidibe

Duke University ( email )

100 Fuqua Drive
Durham, NC 27708-0204
United States

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