Place Based Interventions at Scale: The Direct and Spillover Effects of Policing and City Services on Crime
Bogota’s Mayor and police have ambitious plans to extend state order to the corners of the city where they do not hold a monopoly of violence. They aim not only to reduce crime and violence, but also to increase state legitimacy and civilian support. The government has two main tools: security forces and municipal services. In January, we identified the 1919 most violent “hotspots” in Bogota and randomized them to either intensive security, intensive municipal services, both, or neither. In addition to assessing the direct effects on violence and state legitimacy, our design allows us to estimate the displacement of crime and other spillovers. We will then use the data collected to identify the street segments where the government has virtually no sway, and in a second phase, work with the police and Mayor to pilot a much more targeted, highly intensive urban statebuilding intervention.