Morgan Williams Seminar
“Police Force Size and Civilian Race”
Monday, December 14th, 2020 from 4:10-5:10pm via Zoom
Abstract: 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, the effects of which are borne disproportionately by 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.
Morgan C. Williams, Jr., Ph.D.
Assistant Professor/Faculty Fellow
NYU Provost’s Postdoctoral Fellowship
Robert F. Wagner Graduate School of Public Service
New York University