New article by Evelina Gavrilova-Zoutman
The article "Police Officer on the Frontline or a Soldier? The Effect of Police Militarization on Crime" has been accepted for publication in American Economic Journal: Economic Policy.
Bove, Vincenzo, and Evelina Gavrilova-Zoutman: Police Officer on the Frontline or a Soldier? The Effect of Police Militarization on Crime, American Economic Journal: Economic Policy, forthcoming.
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 variations 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 favor of a deterrence mechanism.