Using Terror Alert Levels to Estimate the Effect of Police on Crime

16 Pages Posted: 10 Nov 2003

See all articles by Jonathan Klick

Jonathan Klick

University of Pennsylvania Law School; Erasmus School of Law; PERC - Property and Environment Research Center

Alexander T. Tabarrok

George Mason University - Department of Economics; Mercatus Center

Multiple version iconThere are 2 versions of this paper

Date Written: October 22, 2003

Abstract

We argue that changes in the terror alert level set by the Department of Homeland Security provide a shock to police presence in the Mall area of Washington, D.C. Using daily crime data during the period the terror alert system has been in place, we show that crime drops significantly, both statistically and economically, in the Mall area relative to the other areas of Washington, D.C. This provides strong evidence of the causal effect of police on crime and suggests a research strategy that can be used in other cities.

Keywords: Crime, Terrorism, Law Enforcement, Police, Terror Alert

JEL Classification: K0, K4, I0, H4

Suggested Citation

Klick, Jonathan and Tabarrok, Alexander T., Using Terror Alert Levels to Estimate the Effect of Police on Crime (October 22, 2003). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=461280 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.461280

Jonathan Klick (Contact Author)

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Alexander T. Tabarrok

George Mason University - Department of Economics ( email )

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