Police reorganization and crime : evidence from police station closures

Blesse, Sebastian ; Diegmann, André

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URL: https://ub-madoc.bib.uni-mannheim.de/47323
URN: urn:nbn:de:bsz:180-madoc-473237
Document Type: Working paper
Year of publication: 2018
The title of a journal, publication series: ZEW Discussion Papers
Volume: 18-044
Place of publication: Mannheim
Publication language: English
Institution: Sonstige Einrichtungen > ZEW - Leibniz-Zentrum für Europäische Wirtschaftsforschung
MADOC publication series: Veröffentlichungen des ZEW (Leibniz-Zentrum für Europäische Wirtschaftsforschung) > ZEW Discussion Papers
Subject: 330 Economics
Classification: JEL: K42 , R53,
Keywords (English): Crime , deterrence , police centralization , efficiency of law enforcement
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.

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