publication . Other literature type . Article . 2017

Police Officer on the Frontline or a Soldier? The Effect of Police Militarization on Crime

Evelina Gavrilova; Vincenzo Bove;
Open Access
  • Published: 01 Aug 2017
  • Publisher: American Economic Association
  • Country: United Kingdom
<jats:p> Sparked by high-profile confrontations between police and citizens in Ferguson, Missouri, and elsewhere, many commentators have criticized the excessive militarization of law enforcement. We investigate whether surplus military-grade equipment acquired by local police departments from the Pentagon has an effect on crime rates. We use temporal variations in US military expenditure and between-counties variation in the odds of receiving a positive amount of military aid to identify the causal effect of militarized policing on crime. We find that (i) military aid reduces street-level crime; (ii) the program is cost-effective; and (iii) there is evidence in...
free text keywords: General Economics, Econometrics and Finance, HV, Political science, Law, Causal effect, Militarization, Officer, Law enforcement, Pentagon, Deterrence theory, Military aid, Criminology, Odds
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