Applied economics research seminar: Who watches the watchmen? Local news and police behavior in the United States

Issued: Tue, 12 Nov 2019 11:40:00 GMT

Date: Wednesday 20 November 2019
Time: 3pm - 4:30pm
Venue: 5 Professors' Square Room 330
Category: Academic events
Audience: Academic staff and doctoral students
Admission: Free
Registration: N/A

Dr Arianna Ornaghi of the University of Warwick will present her research entitled 'Who Watches the Watchmen? Local News and Police Behavior in the United States' at Adam Smith Business School on 20 November 2019.

How do media influence local institutions? We explore the question by looking at how acquisition of local TV stations by large broadcast groups affects US municipal police departments. To capture variation in local media, we implement a triple differences-in-differences design which exploits the staggered acquisition of local TV stations by a large media group 2010-2017, together with cross-sectional variation in whether municipalities tend to be covered by local news at baseline. Using a newly collected dataset of transcripts of local newscasts, we find that acquisitions lead to a decrease in local crime news coverage in covered versus uncovered municipalities. Acquisitions also lead to a decrease in violent crime clearance rates in covered municipalities with respect to uncovered municipalities, driven by assaults and robberies. Increases in crime rates or overall resources allocated to police departments do not explain the change in clearance rates, suggesting changes in police performance as a potential interpretation of the main result.

Arianna is a Research Fellow in the Economics Department at the University of Warwick. In 2019, she was awarded a British Academy Postdoctoral Fellowship. She is also a Research Associate of the Centre for Competitive Advantage in the Global Economy (CAGE).

Arianna's research focus is political economy. In her current work, she studies the effect of local news coverage on police departments and how gender stereotypes affect judicial decisions.

Arianna graduated with a Ph.D. in Economics from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in 2017 and obtained a B.Sc and M.Sc in Economics and Social Sciences from Bocconi University in 2010 and 2012, respectively. Prior to starting graduate school, she worked as Research Assistant in Lesotho.

Please email Sarah McLean at for further information about this event.

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