Citizen preferences and paying for police

Amy K. Donahue, Joanne M. Miller

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

10 Scopus citations


Researchers frequently approach questions dealing with local fiscal decision-making using economic models. These models typically base the demand for public services on a set of socioeconomic characteristics that serve as rough proxies for voter preferences. Our study focuses more directly on preference formation and explores the nature of the relationship between citizens' attitudes about police services and their willingness to pay for them. We pay particular attention to the role of demographic traits, television media, and direct contact with service providers. We present data from a survey of Connecticut adults and use these data to test direct and indirect effects models with regression analysis. We find evidence that attitudes about police predict willingness to pay for police services, holding the demographic attributes of respondents constant. We also find that the effects of some demographic traits on demand for services are mediated by preferences, as are some types of experience and media exposure.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)419-435
Number of pages17
JournalJournal of Urban Affairs
Issue number4
StatePublished - Oct 12 2005


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