Philip Cook (Duke University)
23 May 2019 @ 12:45 - 13:45
“The payoff to police detective work: Evidence from comparing fatal and nonfatal gunshot cases”
Abstract: Police priorities in the US appear to have shifted away from detective work while placing greater emphasis on proactive deployments. The clearance by arrest rate has declined in recent decades. But conventional wisdom denies the value of detective work in making arrests. In this paper I challenge this belief based on evidence that the much greater commitment to investigating homicides than nonfatal shootings accounts for the higher arrest likelihood for fatal cases. The analysis is based on a unique data set of 5 years of shootings in Boston. I argue that the comparison is an impure natural experiment.