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Project Citation: 

Bove, Vincenzo, and Gavrilova, Evelina. Replication data for: Police Officer on the Frontline or a Soldier? The Effect of Police Militarization on Crime. Nashville, TN: American Economic Association [publisher], 2017. Ann Arbor, MI: Inter-university Consortium for Political and Social Research [distributor], 2019-10-13.

Project Description

Summary:  View help for Summary 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 favor of a deterrence mechanism.

Scope of Project

JEL Classification:  View help for JEL Classification
      H56 National Security and War
      H76 State and Local Government: Other Expenditure Categories
      K42 Illegal Behavior and the Enforcement of Law

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