Applied Seminar

Nicola Mastrorocco

Trinity College Dublin

26-May-2021

Webinar – 14:30

Abstract

Do the police respond to media coverage of crime? We study how a shock to news coverage of local crime, induced by acquisitions of local TV stations by the Sinclair Broadcast Group, affects U.S. municipal police departments. Exploiting a unique dataset of 8.5 million news stories and a triple differences-in-differences design, we find that Sinclair acquisitions decrease news coverage of local crime. This matters for policing: municipalities that experience the change in news coverage have lower violent crime clearance rates relative to municipalities that do not. The result is consistent with a decrease of crime salience in the public opinion.

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