Does Discipline Decrease Police Misconduct? Evidence from Chicago Civilian Allegations†

Kyle Rozema, Max Schanzenbach*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations

Abstract

Reformers are calling for greater oversight of police behavior, in part through enhanced use of civilian complaints. However, oth-ers counter that greater oversight could chill effective policing. We assess police officer response to administrative determinations of misconduct. Using Chicago data, we find strong evidence that a sus-tained allegation reduces that officer’s future misconduct. We find no evidence that this effect is driven by incapacitation, such as assign-ment to desk duty, or by officer disengagement. We conclude that our findings are most consistent with improved officer conduct, in part from oversight and officer concerns over promotion, salary, and desirable assignments.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)80-116
Number of pages37
JournalAmerican Economic Journal: Applied Economics
Volume15
Issue number3
DOIs
StatePublished - 2023

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Economics, Econometrics and Finance(all)

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