COPS and Cuffs

Emily Greene Owens

in Lessons from the Economics of Crime

Published by The MIT Press

Published in print September 2013 | ISBN: 9780262019613
Published online May 2014 | e-ISBN: 9780262314633 | DOI:
COPS and Cuffs

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A large literature in economics and criminology has established that hiring more police officers will reduce crime. Using variation in police employment generated by the COPS grant program, this paper investigates the relative contribution of the two mechanisms by which this crime reduction may occur – deterrence and incapacitation. The main finding is that hiring more police officers does not necessarily result in more arrests for serious crimes, and does not appear to have resulted in higher levels of incapacitation overall.

Keywords: Police; Arrests; Deterrence; Incapacitation

Chapter.  9933 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Public Economics

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