Work on Policing and CrimeReview of Economic Studies, Volume 85, Issue 2, 1 April 2018, Pages 855–891.We study whether faster police response times help to combat crime by increasing the likelihood of an arrest. To identify causal effects, we exploit discontinuities in distance to the response station across locations next to each other, but on different sides of division boundaries. We find that faster response times lead to a large increase in the likelihood of detecting (i.e. 'clearing') crimes. The effects are stronger for higher priority calls. Part of the mechanism is the higher likelihood that a suspect will be named by a victim or witness when the police attend the scene more promptly.Journal of the European Economic Association: Forthcoming.In many historical episodes, the extent of criminal activity has displayed booms and busts. One very clear example is the case of metal crime, where in the face of big increases in value driven by world commodity prices, the incidence of metal thefts in the UK (and elsewhere) rose very sharply in the 2000s. Early in the current decade, they fell sharply again. This paper studies the roles of prices, policing and policy in explaining these crime dynamics. The empirical analysis shows sizeable and significant metal crime-price elasticities, in line with the idea that changing economic returns do shape crime. However, the rapid upward and downward trends are not only due to price changes. Their temporal evolution is also explained by changes in policing and policy. On the former, a difference-in-differences approach is used to document an important role of policing as a consequence of an anti-metal crime operation introduced in 2012. On the latter, the introduction of the Scrap Metal Dealers Act 2013 is exploited to study the impact of policy on the economic activity of scrap metal dealers in England and Wales. Results from our difference-in-differences specification suggest that the tougher regulatory system introduced by the policy hindered the economic activity of pre-existing dealers, reflecting the reduced market size for potential metal criminals to sell what they have stolen.CEPR Discussion Paper No. DP13743; VoxEmpirical connections between local anti-Muslim hate crimes and international jihadi terror attacks are studied. Based upon rich administrative data from Greater Manchester Police, event studies of ten terror attacks reveal an immediate big spike up in Islamophobic hate crimes and incidents when an attack occurs. In subsequent days, hate crime is amplified by real-time media. It subsequently attenuates, but hate crime incidence cumulates to higher levels than prior to the series of attacks. The overall conclusion is that, even when they reside in places far away from where jihadi terror attacks take place, local Muslim populations face a media magnified likelihood of hate crime victimization following international terror attacks. This matters for community cohesion in places affected by discriminatory hate crime and, from both a policy and research perspective, means that the process of media magnification of hate crime needs to be better understood.
Work on Policing and Crime
Opinion Piece: The Anti-Money Laundering Process is Broken
Work on Corporate Boards
Work on Corporate Boards
Harvard Law School Blog.We document that women are less represented on corporate boards in Finance and more traditional STEM industry sectors. Even after controlling for differences in firm and country characteristics, average diversity in these sectors is 24% lower than the mean. Our findings suggest that well-documented gender differences in STEM university enrolments and occupations have long-term consequences for female business leadership. The leadership gap in Finance and STEM may be difficult to eliminate using blanket boardroom diversity policies. Diversity policies are also likely to have a different impact on firms in these sectors than in non-STEM sectors.Oxford Business Law Blog Across countries, banks have less gender diverse boards than other firms. Bank board diversity is particularly low in countries with greater gender gaps in PISA math scores and lower average math scores. We find similar results using state-level NAEP math scores in the United States. The influence of math scores appears to transcend standard cultural explanations. Female directors are more likely to have an MBA in banks, especially in countries with greater gender gaps in math scores. Our evidence suggests that differences in educational outcomes for boys and girls may have long-lasting implications for their career development.Oxford Business Law BlogWe survey non-executive directors in emerging markets to obtain detailed information about the inner workings of corporate boards across a variety of institutional settings. We document substantial variation in the structure and conduct of boards as well as in directors’ perceptions about the local legal environment. Further analysis indicates that directors who feel adequately empowered by local legislation are less likely to actively vote against board proposals. They also form boards that play a stronger role in the company’s strategic decision making. This suggests that a supportive legal environment allows directors to focus more on their advisory as opposed to their monitoring role.
Work on Law and Finance here. Featured on the LSE Business Review Blog, and the Harvard Law School Blog.This paper examines the impact of enhanced executive remuneration disclosure rules and the introduction of dual voting rights under UK regulations of 2013 on the voting patterns of shareholders. Based on a hand-collected dataset of the pay information disclosed by FTSE 350 companies from 2013-2017, we establish that shareholders guide their vote by top line salary figures and the recommendations of proxy advisors. We do not find any evidence that they assess the structure of a company’s remuneration policy comprehensively or penalise badly structured policies with their binding policy vote. Our results challenge the merits of imposing additional reporting costs on firms and introducing complex say on pay regulations.
Work on Law and Finance
Work in Progress
- Payday Lending and Crime (with Ulf Axelson and Daniel Paravisini)
- Productivity in the Open Plan Workplace (with Diego Battiston, Jordi Blanes i Vidal and Kati Szemeredi)
- Female Underrepresentation in STEM&F Firms (with Renee Adams)