Life and Death in the Fast Lane: Police Enforcement and Traffic Fatalities
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AbstractSimultaneity complicates the estimation of the causal effect of police on crime. We overcome this obstacle by focusing on a mass layoff of Oregon State Police in February of 2003. Due solely to budget cuts, 35 percent of the roadway troopers were laid off, which dramatically reduced citations. The subsequent decrease in enforcement is associated with a significant increase in injuries and fatalities. The effects are similar using control groups chosen either geographically or through data-driven methods. Our estimates suggest that a highway fatality can be prevented with $309,000 of expenditures on state police.
CitationDeAngelo, Gregory, and Benjamin Hansen. 2014. "Life and Death in the Fast Lane: Police Enforcement and Traffic Fatalities." American Economic Journal: Economic Policy, 6 (2): 231-57. DOI: 10.1257/pol.6.2.231
- H76 State and Local Government: Other Expenditure Categories
- K42 Illegal Behavior and the Enforcement of Law
- R41 Transportation: Demand, Supply, and Congestion; Safety and Accidents; Transportation Noise
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