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Panic on the streets of London: police, crime, and the July 2005 terror attacks

Draca, Mirko, Machin, Stephen and Witt, Robert (2011) Panic on the streets of London: police, crime, and the July 2005 terror attacks. American Economic Review, 101 (5). pp. 2157-2181. ISSN 0002-8282

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Identification Number: 10.1257/aer.101.5.2157


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.

Item Type: Article
Official URL:
Additional Information: © 2011 AEA
Divisions: Centre for Economic Performance
Subjects: K Law > K Law (General)
JEL classification: K - Law and Economics > K4 - Legal Procedure, the Legal System, and Illegal Behavior > K42 - Illegal Behavior and the Enforcement of Law
Date Deposited: 06 Sep 2011 11:42
Last Modified: 20 Oct 2021 00:27

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