Collective Bargaining Rights, Policing, and Civilian Deaths with Rob Gillezeau
Tuesday, March 28, 2023
12:00 pm — 1:30 pm
Open to the Public
The introduction of collective bargaining rights substantially increased the number of civilians killed by the police, particularly among nonwhite civilians, but at the same time had limited effects on officer safety and crime. Unionization is responsible for almost one-fifth of all civilian deaths by legal intervention during the 1960s, 1970s and 1980s.
Do collective bargaining rights for law enforcement result in more civilian deaths at the hands of the police? Using an event-study design, we examine whether states’ introduction of duty to bargain requirements with police unions led to meaningful changes in civilians killed by law enforcement. We find that the introduction of collective bargaining rights substantially increases the number of civilians killed by the police, particularly among nonwhite civilians, while having limited effects on officer safety and crime. Our results indicate that the adoption of bargaining rights for law enforcement can explain 19 percent of all non-white civilian deaths by legal intervention between 1959 and 1988. Given our findings, the idea that police unions exacerbate violence is empirically grounded.
About the Seminar series
This presentation is one in a series offered each week as part of the Applied Economics Seminar hosted by the Economics program to showcase new and impactful research being done by early career and other economists. Held every Tuesday afternoon, the seminar series allows students and faculty to engage with researchers from diverse backgrounds covering a wide range of topics on the cutting edge of economic research.