Public Safety through Private Action: An Economic Assessment of BIDs

Journal Article (Journal Article)

Private actions to avoid and prevent criminal victimisation and assist public law enforcement are vital inputs into the crime-control process. One form of private action, the business improvement district (BID), appears particularly promising. A BID is a non-profit organisation created by property owners to provide local public goods, usually including public safety. Our analysis of 30 Los Angeles BIDs demonstrates that the social benefits of BID expenditures on security are a large multiple (about 20) of the private expenditures. Crime displacement appears minimal. Crime reduction in the BID areas has been accompanied by a reduction in arrests, suggesting further savings. © 2011 The Author(s). The Economic Journal © 2011 Royal Economic Society.

Full Text

Duke Authors

Cited Authors

  • Cook, PJ; Macdonald, J

Published Date

  • May 1, 2011

Published In

Volume / Issue

  • 121 / 552

Start / End Page

  • 445 - 462

Electronic International Standard Serial Number (EISSN)

  • 1468-0297

International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)

  • 0013-0133

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

  • 10.1111/j.1468-0297.2011.02419.x

Citation Source

  • Scopus