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Consolidation of Prosecutor Offices

Claudio Detotto, Bryan C. McCannon

We investigate the impact of the consolidation of local agencies publicly- providing services, focusing on the prosecution of crime. In many states in the U.S. prosecution is a county o ce with a chief prosecutor directing decisions. Other states merge counties into prosecutorial districts. We show that, along with the cost savings that arises, the evidence suggests that prosecutorial services benefit from increasing returns to scale. The e ciency of prosecutorial output improves in consolidated districts. Fur- ther, we show that it is not due to differing outcomes of the criminal justice system, but in fewer inputs used.

Keywords : crime, Data Envelopment Analysis, district attorney, ef- ficiency, jurisdiction, Propensity Score Matching, prosecution

working paper TerRA n°08