We evaluate the effectiveness of the Mexican abandonment of the inquisitorial system of justice in reducing the incidence of torture of accused criminals. Results show that, despite rising levels of violence and cause for pessimism, the reform was able to reduce abuse across several measures. Our work was featured in the American Political Science Review's monthly blog in December 15, 2020:
"Conversations with Authors" https://www.Cambridge.org/core/blog/2020/12/15/conversations-with-authors-institutionalized-police-brutality/
State interventions against organized criminal groups (OCGs) sometimes work to improve security, but often exacerbate violence. To understand why, this paper argues that the outcomes of police interventions are largely influenced by the pre-existing forms of governance OCGs establish in the territories they control.
Winner of the the 2021 Heinz I. Eulau Award for the best article published in American Political Science Review.
We investigate the role of traditional governance institutions for public goods provision in Oaxaca, Mexico. Results show that communities ruled by traditional governance practices offer more effective provision of local public goods than equally poor communities ruled by political parties.
This paper assesses the Mexican government’s strategy to weaken drug-trafficking organizations (DTOs). Results show that arresting/executing drug cartel leaders and lieutenants increases not only DTO-related violence, but also civilian homicides.
Using list experiments, this paper measures the prevalence of extortion and assistance among drug trafficking organizations (DTOs). Results show that territorial contestation among rival organizations produces more extortion, while monopoly control over a territory leads DTOs to provide more assistance. The paper also explores how variation in criminal organization and patterns of DTO-state collusion largely influence DTO behavior toward the community.
We investigate the effect of drug-related violence in Mexico on academic achievement. We estimate the impact on math test scores of both turf war exposure and turf war persistence during the academic year. According to our results, both the exposure to and persistence of criminal violence reduces math test scores.
This paper assesses the effects of body-worn cameras (BWC) on police behavior through a randomized control trial implemented in Rio de Janeiro. Results show that BWCs significantly reduced the use of lethal force and diminished the number of police written reports.
The goal of this study is to explore themes related to public security using a large-scale, door-to-door survey of roughly 6,300 residents from Cidade de Deus, Providência, Rocinha, Batan, and Maré. Our aim is to generate a more informed debate about the security situation in Rio de Janeiro that gives voice to residents of the city’s favelas. In this survey, we explore favela residents’ patterns of interaction with the police and armed criminal groups, their experiences with victimization, their perceptions of changes in the security climate, as well as their evaluations of the police and the public security situation in their communities.
We conducted an impact evaluation of Youth with Hope (Jóvenes con Porvenir), the first large-scale vocational training program implemented in Mexico. Results indicate that participants increased their likelihood of finding a job; their reported monthly income; their number of hours worked per week; their access to professional networks; and their optimism about their future
This study explores citizen perceptions of and victimization on private and public transportation in the Metropolitan Area of Mexico City. Particularly, this analysis exploits a unique survey to assess the likelihood of becoming a victim while using these means of transportation. Results show that victimization in the public transit system incentivize users to switch to private apps, such as Uber, Cabify, Lyft, etc.