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Abstract:

Journal article
Panic on the Streets of London: Police, Crime, and the July 2005 Terror Attacks
Mirko Draca, Stephen Machin and Robert Witt
August 2011

American Economic Review 101(5), 2011
DOI: 10.1257/aer.101.5.2157
https://www.aeaweb.org/articles?id=10.1257/aer.101.5.2157


Tags: crime; police; terror attacks; illegal behavior and the enforcement of law

In this paper we study the causal impact of police on crime, looking at what happened to crime and police before and after the terror attacks that hit central London in July 2005. The attacks resulted in a large redeployment of police officers to central London as compared to outer London. During this time, crime fell significantly in central relative to outer London. The instrumental variable approach we use uncovers an elasticity of crime with respect to police of approximately -0.3 to -0.4, so that a 10 percent increase in police activity reduces crime by around 3 to 4 percent.

DOI: 10.1257/aer.101.5.2157
https://www.aeaweb.org/articles?id=10.1257/aer.101.5.2157