Chapter

Does Arrest Deter Violence?: Comparing Experimental and Nonexperimental Evidence on Mandatory Arrest Laws

Radha Iyengar

in The Economics of Crime

Published by University of Chicago Press

Published in print September 2010 | ISBN: 9780226153742
Published online February 2013 | e-ISBN: 9780226153766 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.7208/chicago/9780226153766.003.0013
Does Arrest Deter Violence?: Comparing Experimental and Nonexperimental Evidence on Mandatory Arrest Laws

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This chapter is an excellent example of how incentives are pervasive in the analysis of crime and how even carefully designed policies can go wrong when these are not accounted for at every step of the crime-punishment link. Mandatory arrest following reports of domestic violence was implemented in the United States through state level laws following the results of the Minnesota Domestic Violence Experiment (MDVE). The author shows that the subsequent passing of mandatory arrest laws in several U.S. states coincided with increases in the gap between intimate partner homicide and other kinds of homicide. He points out that the Minnesota experiment was implemented conditional on the reporting of incidents, and that the public was not aware that randomization in the treatment was involved.

Keywords: incentives; crime; arrest laws; domestic violence; homicide; Minnesota Domestic Violence Experiment; randomization; Minnesota; mandatory arrest laws

Chapter.  15833 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Economic Development and Growth

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