Elinor Ostrom on Policing

Ostrom showed convincingly that smaller more local policing was more effective and less expensive. Size (scale) really matters and bigger is often not better. Large scale models cannot contain requisite variety unless they contain nested models. The whole move toward consolidation of government in the 70's and 80's was misguided. What is needed is 'polycentric governance".

See Ostrom's Nobel prize speech here.

VIMEO 148832104 Published Sunday, December 13, 2015

Ostrom: Police Industry Studies PDF

After decades of research on Policing and other public services, documented in numerous papers, this summary article (obtained from my local library on-line service) was published: The Comparative Study of Public Economies Ostrom, Elinor. American Economist; Thousand Oaks Vol. 61, Iss. 1, (Mar 2016): 91-107. DOI:10.1177/0569434515626858

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"In the 1970s, there were many proposals to greatly reduce the number of police agencies serving both urban and rural areas in the United States.4 Some proposals recommended moving from over 40,000 police departments that then existed to under 500 police departments across the country. Small police departments were viewed by many policy analysts as impediments to effective policing.5 No empirical studies had been conducted to examine the comparative performance of police departments of various sizes or metropolitan areas with diverse mixtures of departments. Steve Mastrofski, John Mciver, Roger Parks, Stephen Percy, Elaine Sharp, Dennis Smith, Gordon Whitaker, and I began what became a 15-year intensive research program on urban policing with a relatively simple, most-similar systems study in the Indianapolis metropolitan area and eventually conducted a comparative study in 80 metropolitan areas throughout the U.S...

...Our studies have shown that citizens being served by small departments are likely to be receiving better services and at lower costs than their neighbors living in the center city. Thus, instead of being an impediment to effective policing in metropolitan areas, small- to medium-sized police departments perform better than their larger counterparts in delivering direct police services to similar neighborhoods."

Graduated Sanctions According to Ostrom As you may recall Graduated Sanctions is one of the eight always present principles in successful governance of common pool resources.