Information Technology, Organization, and Productivity in the Public Sector

Evidence from Police Departments

by Luis Garicano, Paul Heaton

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We examine the relationship between information technology (IT), productivity, and organization using a new panel data set of police departments that covers 1987–2003. When considered alone, increases in IT are not associated with reductions in crime rates, increases in clearance rates, or other productivity measures, and computing technology that increases reported crime actually generates the appearance of lower productivity. These results persist across various samples, specifications, and IT measures. IT investments are, however, linked to improved productivity when they are complemented with particular organizational and management practices, such as those associated with the Compstat program.

Reprinted with permission from Journal of Labor Economics, Vol. 28, No. 1, January 2010, pp. 167–201. Copyright © 2010 University of Chicago Press.

Originally published in: Journal of Labor Economics, Vol. 28, No. 1, January 2010, pp. 167-201.

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