Fighting crime with a little help from my friends. party affiliation, inter-jurisdictional cooperation and crime in Mexico

Available from: 
October 2013
Paper author(s): 
Emilio Gutierrez (ITAM)
Ruben Durante (Sciences Po)
Conflict, Crime and Violence
Politics and Economy

We investigate the relationship between inter-jurisdictional cooperation and the effectiveness of law enforcement in Mexico. Exploiting a Regression Discontinuity Design (RDD) in close municipal elections, we study how improved opportunities for cooperation in crime-prevention among neighboring municipalities - proxied by their degree of political alignment - may result in lower rates of violent crime. We find that municipalities in which the party in power in the majority of neighboring jurisdictions barely won experience significantly lower homicide rates during the mayor’s mandate than those in which it barely lost. This effect is sizeable - a decrease of 52 to 65% - and is independent of which party is in power in the neighboring municipalities. Political alignment with neighbors is not correlated with a variety of other outcomes including homicide rates during the previous mandate. The observed reduction in crime does not appear to be driven by improved cooperation with state and federal authorities.


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Research section: 
Lacea 2013 annual meeting
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