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Police Force Size and Civilian Race†

Police Force Size and Civilian Race† AbstractWe report novel empirical estimates of the race-specific effects of larger police forces in the United States. Each additional police officer abates approximately 0.1 homicides. In per capita terms, effects are twice as large for Black versus White victims. Larger police forces also make fewer arrests for serious crimes, with larger reductions for crimes with Black suspects, implying that police force growth does not increase racial disparities among the most serious charges. At the same time, larger police forces make more arrests for low-level “quality-of-life” offenses, with effects that imply a disproportionate impact for Black Americans. (JEL H76, J15, K42) http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png American Economic Review: Insights American Economic Association

Police Force Size and Civilian Race†

American Economic Review: Insights , Volume 4 (2) – Jun 1, 2022

Abstract

AbstractWe report novel empirical estimates of the race-specific effects of larger police forces in the United States. Each additional police officer abates approximately 0.1 homicides. In per capita terms, effects are twice as large for Black versus White victims. Larger police forces also make fewer arrests for serious crimes, with larger reductions for crimes with Black suspects, implying that police force growth does not increase racial disparities among the most serious charges. At the same time, larger police forces make more arrests for low-level “quality-of-life” offenses, with effects that imply a disproportionate impact for Black Americans. (JEL H76, J15, K42)

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Publisher
American Economic Association
Copyright
Copyright © 2022 © American Economic Association
ISSN
2640-205X
eISSN
2640-2068
DOI
10.1257/aeri.20200792
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

AbstractWe report novel empirical estimates of the race-specific effects of larger police forces in the United States. Each additional police officer abates approximately 0.1 homicides. In per capita terms, effects are twice as large for Black versus White victims. Larger police forces also make fewer arrests for serious crimes, with larger reductions for crimes with Black suspects, implying that police force growth does not increase racial disparities among the most serious charges. At the same time, larger police forces make more arrests for low-level “quality-of-life” offenses, with effects that imply a disproportionate impact for Black Americans. (JEL H76, J15, K42)

Journal

American Economic Review: InsightsAmerican Economic Association

Published: Jun 1, 2022

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