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Weekly economics seminar

The weekly seminar on economics of the Technical Management of the Banco de la República is a space in which national and foreign researchers present their recent work in all areas of economics and finance. It is an academic scenario in which new methodologies and economic and financial models are communicated and their policy implications are debated for Colombia and countries in the region. This seminar normally takes place every Wednesday, between February and November of each year, from 12:00 to 2:00 pm at the premises of the Banco de la República de Bogotá. On this page you can find a monthly seminar schedule. Researchers interested in participating as presenters in our seminar, are welcome to postulate their work through this portal.

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Seminario de Microeconomía Aplicada - The Economic Value of Crime Control: Evidence from a Large Investment in Police Infrastructure

Fecha y hora: 
Friday, 6 August 2021 - 1:30pm to 2:30pm
Seminario virtual, organizado por Cali y Medellín
Miguel Morales-Mosquera

Research on the effects of police presence tends to focus on the impact such policies have on crime rates. Less is known about how much individuals value place-based policing strategies. This paper fills this gap by estimating the willingness-to-pay (WTP) to avoid crime using housing market data in the three largest cities of Colombia. Specifically, I study the effects of 100 newly constructed police stations on crime and property values using an instrumented difference-in-differences design. I find that police deter violent crime by 12 percent and property crime by 22 percent in the immediate vicinity of the newly constructed police stations, with no crime displacement nearby. Using a hedonic pricing model, I find that the opening of new police stations leads to a 5 percent increase in property values —a gain of $3.5 million for households directly affected. While hedonic regressions identify the effect of crime on housing values for the marginal buyer, I estimate a correlated random coefficients model and show that the welfare effects of crime are homogeneously distributed in the population. I conclude that the average marginal WTP to avoid crime due to the local effects of the intervention is $4,500 per household. These results suggest that cities under-provide policing and target high crime neighborhoods while the benefits are widespread.