Amanda Agan

Rutgers University Website

Amanda Agan is Assistant Professor of Economics at Rutgers University. She holds a Ph.D. in Economics from the University of Chicago.

Voting History

Policing and public safety

Increasing police budgets will improve public safety.

Vote Confidence
Neutral/No Opinion 5
Median Survey Vote Median Survey Confidence
Agree 7
Comments

Depends on how spent and definition of public safety. Additional officers reduce reported crime (Evans&Owens 2007); but increase police contact, which can decrease safety and psychological well-being for some communities and potentially be criminogenic (Chalfin e.a. 2021, Agan e.a. 2021). Mixed evidence for other spending reducing reported crime.

Increasing social service budgets (e.g. housing, health, education) will improve public safety.

Vote Confidence
Agree 6
Median Survey Vote Median Survey Confidence
Agree 8
Comments

In the long-run likely yes. More/better education reduces crime (Lochner&Moretti 2004, Heckman e.a. 2010, Deming 2011); access to health insurance decreases crime (Aslim e.a. 2019, He&Barkowski 2020); safety net access in childhood decreases adult crime (Barr&Gibbs 2019, Bailey e.a. 2020); summer jobs decrease violence (Heller 2014). Could depend on program, of course.

Increasing accountability for police misconduct will improve public safety.

Vote Confidence
Agree 5
Median Survey Vote Median Survey Confidence
Agree 6
Comments

We do not have a lot of evidence on accountability yet: mixed evidence from police unions (Dharmapala e.a. 2018; Goncalves 2021); accountability for discrimination through affirmative action decreases victimization (Harvey and Mattia 2019). More accountability should decrease misconduct, could improve police-community relationships. Seems important regardless.

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