Encyclopedia of Law and Economics

2019 Edition
| Editors: Alain Marciano, Giovanni Battista Ramello

Broken Window Effect

  • Joël J. van der WeeleEmail author
  • Mataka P. Flynn
  • Rogier J. van der Wolk
Reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-1-4614-7753-2_624

Abstract

The broken windows effect refers to the hypothesis that there is a positive effect of urban disorder on the incidence of more serious crimes, where the term “broken windows” represents a range of disorders within communities. The hypothesis has been the subject of an intensive academic debate and has had an important effect on law enforcement in the USA, where it increased the focus on community policing and zero tolerance. This essay reviews the evidence for the existence of the broken windows effect and the effectiveness of the associated policing strategies.

This is a preview of subscription content, log in to check access.

References

  1. Braga A et al (1999) Problem-oriented policing in violent crime places: a randomized controlled experiment. Criminology 37(3):541–580CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Braga A, Welsh B, Schnell C (2015) Can policing disorder reduce crime? A systematic review and meta-analysis. J Res Crime Delinq 52(4):567–588CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Bratton W, Knobler P (1998) Turnaround: how America’s top cop reversed the crime epidemic. Random House, New YorkGoogle Scholar
  4. Corman H, Mocan N (2005) Carrots, sticks and broken windows. J Law Econ 48:251CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Eck J, Maguire E (2000) Have changes in policing reduced violent crime? An assessment of the evidence. In: Blumstein A, Wallman J (eds) The crime drop in America, rev. edn. Cambridge University Press, New York, pp 207–265Google Scholar
  6. Fagan J, Zimring F, Kim J (1998) Declining homicide in New York City: a tale of two trends. J Crim Law Criminol 88(4):1277–1324CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Harcourt B (1998) Reflecting on the subject: a critique of the social influence conception of deterrence, the broken windows theory, and order-maintenance policing New York style. Mich Law Rev 97(2):291–389CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Harcourt B, Ludwig J (2006) Broken windows: new evidence from New York City and a five-city social experiment. Univ Chic Law Rev 73:271–320Google Scholar
  9. Kelling G, Bratton W (1998) Declining crime rates: insiders’ views of the New York city story. J Crim Law Criminol 88(4):1217–1232CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Kelling G, Sousa W (2001) Do police matter?: an analysis of the impact of New York city’s police reforms. Civic report no. 22. Manhattan Institute, New YorkGoogle Scholar
  11. Kelling G, Wilson Q (1982) Broken windows. Atl Mon 127(2). http://www.theatlantic.com/magazine/archive/1982/03/broken-windows/304465/
  12. Orr L et al (2003) Moving to opportunity: interim impacts evaluation. U.S Department of Ousing and Urban Development Office of Policy Developments and Research report. http://www.abtassociates.com/reports/2003302754569_71451.pdf
  13. Sampson R, Raudenbush S (1999) Systematic social observation of public spaces: a new look at disorder in urban neighborhoods. Am J Sociol 105(3):303–651CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. Sampson R, Raudenbush S, Earls F (1997) Neighborhoods and violent crime: a multilevel study of collective efficacy. Science 277:918–924CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. Taylor R (2001) Breaking away from broken windows: Baltimore neighborhoods and the Nationwide fight against crime, guns, fear and decline. Westview, BoulderGoogle Scholar
  16. Weisburd D, Eck J (2004) What can police do to reduce crime, disorder, and fear? Ann Am Acad Pol Soc Sci 593(1):42–65CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. Weisburd D et al (2015) Understanding the mechanisms underlying broken windows policing: the need for evaluation evidence. J Res Crime Delinq 52(4):589–608CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. Zimbardo P (1973) A field experiment in Autoshaping. In: Ward C (ed) Vandalism. Architectural Press, London, pp 85–90Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Joël J. van der Weele
    • 1
    Email author
  • Mataka P. Flynn
    • 2
  • Rogier J. van der Wolk
    • 2
    • 3
  1. 1.Department of EconomicsUniversity of AmsterdamAmsterdamThe Netherlands
  2. 2.Faculty of LawVrije Universiteit AmsterdamAmsterdamThe Netherlands
  3. 3.Faculty of LawUniversiteit van AmsterdamAmsterdamThe Netherlands