Research Publication Title

Do Changes in Police Presence Affect Violent Crime Rates?

Major

Economics

Faculty Mentor(s)

Dr. Arias

Keywords

Police, Deterrance, Regression, OLS, State

Abstract

This paper examines the effects of changes in law enforcement presence on the occurrence of violent crime in the 50 states and Washington D.C from 2004 to 2014. Effects are measured using an OLS regression that utilizes both state and year fixed effects as well as panel data collected from the F.B.I’s Uniform Crime Report and U.S Census Bureau. The regression uses the number of law enforcement officials per 100,000 persons within a state during a particular year as the key independent variable and tests for statistically significant changes in the violent crime rate, which is the dependent variable of interest. The results indicate that police presence does not have a statistically significant effect on violent crime rates throughout states. It is worth noting that these findings are consistent with previous literature. Statistically significant, negatively correlated variables include state growth rates and certain educational attainment. The “Death Penalty Dummy” variable was statistically significant and positively correlated with violent crime.

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Do Changes in Police Presence Affect Violent Crime Rates?

This paper examines the effects of changes in law enforcement presence on the occurrence of violent crime in the 50 states and Washington D.C from 2004 to 2014. Effects are measured using an OLS regression that utilizes both state and year fixed effects as well as panel data collected from the F.B.I’s Uniform Crime Report and U.S Census Bureau. The regression uses the number of law enforcement officials per 100,000 persons within a state during a particular year as the key independent variable and tests for statistically significant changes in the violent crime rate, which is the dependent variable of interest. The results indicate that police presence does not have a statistically significant effect on violent crime rates throughout states. It is worth noting that these findings are consistent with previous literature. Statistically significant, negatively correlated variables include state growth rates and certain educational attainment. The “Death Penalty Dummy” variable was statistically significant and positively correlated with violent crime.