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Wed May 15, 2019, 10:56 PM

Economists conducted a $5 million experiment to (literally) shed light on crime

Source: Washington Post

Economists conducted a $5 million experiment to (literally) shed light on crime

By Andrew Van Dam May 14

For years, New York City public-housing residents had requested more streetlights. In 2016, they arrived — in the form of portable, diesel-powered flood lights that blast 600,000 lumens into the night sky. For comparison, a bright indoor lamp might put out 1,600 lumens.

The mobile light towers weren’t permanent. They were part of a six-month, $5 million experiment initiated by the office of Mayor Bill de Blasio in partnership with the housing authority, the police department and researchers at the Crime Lab at the University of Chicago.

Placed at about 40 randomly assigned public-housing developments across the city, the lights led to as much as a 59 percent nighttime decrease in serious crime, according to a working paper circulated this week by the National Bureau of Economic Research.


For context, the drop is about the scale researchers would expect from a 10 percent increase in police staffing. It suggests that spending on improved living conditions may be a more effective way to reduce crime than spending on increased police presence.

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Read more: https://www.washingtonpost.com/business/2019/05/14/economists-conducted-million-experiment-literally-shed-light-crime/

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Related working paper: Reducing Crime Through Environmental Design: Evidence from a Randomized Experiment of Street Lighting in New York City (National Bureau of Economic Research)

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Reply Economists conducted a $5 million experiment to (literally) shed light on crime (Original post)
Eugene Wednesday OP
Beakybird Wednesday #1

Response to Eugene (Original post)

Wed May 15, 2019, 11:22 PM

1. Fire the police. Release lightning bugs into the city.


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