When do more police induce more crime?

Casilda Lasso de la Vega, Oscar Volij, Federico Weinschelbaum

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


We provide a necessary and sufficient condition on the equilibrium of a Walrasian economy for an increase in police expenditure to induce an increase in crime. It turns out that this is essentially the condition for the Laffer curve to be downward sloping at a given ad valorem tax rate. Notably, such a perverse effect of police on crime is consistent with any appropriation technology and could arise even if the level of police protection is the socially optimal one.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)759-778
Number of pages20
JournalEconomic Theory
Issue number3
StatePublished - 1 Oct 2023


  • Crime
  • Laffer curve
  • Police
  • Theft
  • Walrasian equilibrium

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Economics and Econometrics


Dive into the research topics of 'When do more police induce more crime?'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this