The Effect of Police Oversight on Crime and Allegations of Misconduct: Evidence from Chicago
89 Pages Posted: 29 Jan 2019 Last revised: 22 Mar 2021
Date Written: October 19, 2019
Does policing the police increase crime? We avoid simultaneity effects of increased public oversight following an officer-involved shooting scandal by identifying events in Chicago that only impacted officers’ self-monitoring. We estimate crimes’ response to types of oversight using generalized synthetic control methods. Cautionary notes from the police union, inducing officers to self-monitor, significantly reduced Constitutional violation complaints without increasing crime. In contrast, complaints and crime rise post-scandal. This suggests that higher crime following more oversight results not solely from de-policing but also from civilian behavior simultaneously changing. Our research suggests that proactive accountability improves police resident interactions without increasing crime.
Keywords: law enforcement misconduct, corruption, deterrent effect of police on crime, impact of police oversight, police accountability, objective function of police, misconduct allegations, constitutional violations, de-policing, officer-involved-shooting, crime data, scandal-based study, simultaneity bias
JEL Classification: J52, K14, K42, H76
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation