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Measuring Declining Trust in the Urban Police Using 911 Call Dynamics

Saturday, October 1, 2016 9:03
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Two sociologists have written an interesting Opinion Piece in today’s NY Times.  They provide an overview of their new event study paper.  They argue that minority 911 calls declined sharply in the aftermath of the 2004 beating of Frank Jude.     For those who know econometrics, read their 2016 paper.   The authors argue that the beating caused minorities to be more fearful of the police ==> this group no longer called the police.  The authors argue that this dynamic increases the risk that minorities face because they now have less police protection.

The beating took place on October 23, 2004.  So, my first point is that the authors have a single event which they use to do a before/after comparison of the count of 911 calls on a weekly basis. They also don’t have a control group.  In English, what would have been Milwaukee’s 911 time series if the beating had not occurred.

My second point is that this Conley and Taber paper isn’t cited. Would this paper’s results still hold with their correction?


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