Robert M. La Follette School of Public Affairs, University of Wisconsin-Madison
The goal of reducing crime has been cited as one justification for policies that increase the government's ability to deport immigrants. The Secure Communities program, which led to a large increase in deportations in the U.S. between 2008 and 2014, offers an opportunity to study the impact of increased deportations on local crime and police effectiveness.
Secure Communities was suspended by DHS policy in November, 2014. The Trump administration reinstated the Secure Communities program as of January 2017. Overall, our analysis of the roll-out and implementation of Secure Communities between 2008 and 2014, suggests that there is not empirical support that immigrant deportations reduce serious crime and make communities safer.
The Nobel Memorial prize in Economic Sciences awarded this year to Abhijit Banerjee, Esther Duflo, and Michael Kremer has focused attention on how an experimental-based approach, which they have popularized in the field of development economics, is helping to fight poverty in developing countries. But the use of randomized controlled trials (RCTs) is not limited to the developing world.
Poverty is a pressing and complex problem in the United States. While many programs and policies seek to address poverty, we often do not know which are effective. Randomized evaluations, a particularly rigorous type of impact evaluation, can show us which programs and policies work and help shed light on the barriers faced by people experiencing poverty.
Firms making decisions about how much to spend on securing their computer systems and data often struggle with figuring out how much a cybersecurity breach will cost them and what the most cost-effective ways of protecting against such breaches are. In the absence of clear guidelines about how to secure their systems, a growing number of firms are purchasing cyber-insurance policies that offer coverage for a variety of different types of cybersecurity incidents, from data breaches to ransomware.
To address moral hazard problems associated with cybersecurity spending, we first need to do a better job collecting consistent data about how much cybersecurity incidents actually cost, who those costs accrue to, and what controls are most effective in reducing those costs. The growing cyber-insurance market also plays a significant role in creating incentives for firms to invest in cybersecurity controls and, as it grows, that market may require more oversight and regulation. In the meantime, firms deciding to moderate their cybersecurity spending because they do not fear significant losses from breaches may, in fact, be making very rational decisions based on how insulated they may be from the direct costs of those breaches.
Michael Klein, Executive Editor of EconoFact, and Marc Melitz (Harvard) discuss the employment costs of protectionism and the broader disruption it can cause for integrated supply chains.Read more