We report the first empirical estimate of the race-specific effects of larger police forces in the United States. Each additional police officer abates approximately 0.1 homicides. In per capita terms, effects are twice as large for Black versus white victims. At the same time, larger police forces make more arrests for low-level "quality-of-life" offenses, with effects that imply a disproportionate burden for Black Americans. Notably, cities with large Black populations do not share equally in the benefits of investments in police manpower. Our results provide novel empirical support for the popular narrative that Black communities are simultaneously over and under-policed
- Published by
- National Bureau of Economic Research
- North America / United States
- © 2020 by Aaron Chalfin, Benjamin Hansen, Emily K. Weisburst, and Morgan C. Williams, Jr.. All rights reserved. Short sections of text, not to exceed two paragraphs, may be quoted without explicit permission provided that full credit, including © notice, is given to the source.