Political Alignment and Inter-Jurisdictional Cooperation: Evidence from Crime in Mexico
Presenta: Emilio Depetris-Chauvin (PUC)
We investigate the relationship between inter-jurisdictional cooperation and law enforcement in Mexico. Exploiting a Regression Discontinuity Design in close municipal elections, we study how improved opportunities for cooperation in crime prevention among neighboring municipalities, due to increased political alignment between mayors, may result in lower rates of violent crime. We find that municipalities in which the party in power in the neighboring jurisdictions barely wins tend to cooperate more with their neighbors and to experience lower homicide rates in the following years than those in which it barely lost. This effect is sizeable and robust, is increasing in the share of neighboring munici- palities governed by the same party, is independent of which party governs the neighboring municipalities, and does not appear to be driven by improved cooperation with either federal or state authorities. Our findings suggest that, in the presence of geographical spillovers, favoring horizontal cooperation may be an effective way of improving the provision of local public goods.
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