Does Oversight Reduce Policing? Evidence from the Cincinnati Police Department after the April 2001 Riot

36 Pages Posted: 12 Jan 2005 Last revised: 29 Aug 2014

See all articles by Lan Shi

Lan Shi

Government of the United States of America - Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC)

Date Written: January 10, 2005

Abstract

Oversight of a bureaucracy induces its agents to yield to consumers' demands excessively. Oversight is initiated by consumer complaints and consumers complain about an agent if they are wrongly denied the resource under allocation. This paper tests this prediction in a police setting. A riot erupted in Cincinnati after a white officer shot dead an unarmed African-American male in April 2001. The sharply increased media attention and an ensuing federal investigation provided exogenous variation in oversight. Compared to the period from January 1999 to March 2001, arrests during the remaining period of 2001 fell substantially. The decline was more significant for offenses where police officers had more discretion. Communities with a higher percentage of African-Americans experienced greater arrest reductions. Felony crime (violent crime and property crime) surged during the same period.

JEL Classification: D82, H11, L30

Suggested Citation

Shi, Lan, Does Oversight Reduce Policing? Evidence from the Cincinnati Police Department after the April 2001 Riot (January 10, 2005). Journal of Public Economics, 2008, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=647606 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.647606

Lan Shi (Contact Author)

Government of the United States of America - Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC) ( email )

400 7th Street SW
Washington, DC 20219
United States

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