Date of Graduation


Document Type


Degree Type



Chambers College of Business and Economics



Committee Chair

Joshua Hall

Committee Member

Bryan McCannon

Committee Member

Alexander Lundberg

Committee Member

Jack Dorminey


This dissertation investigates three relevant topics in law and economics literature. The first chapter explores the effectiveness of a crime prevention policy in Detroit, Project Green Light. This initiative began in 2016 and was aimed at reducing crime around high-risk businesses. Reductions in crime can be found in the business block that housed the green light, with a potential diffusion of benefits to their immediate neighbors. Using calls for service produces mixed results and suggest that there may be an increase in proactive policing within these areas. Lastly, response times do appear to decrease significantly. The second chapter empirically evaluates the dominant theory of plea bargaining in economics, using police officer deaths as plausibly exogenous variation to the sentencing process. We argue these deaths are salient to the potential voter base, thus increasing the probability of conviction at trial, funneling back into the plea bargaining process through harsher plea bargained sentence agreements. Considering only cases that were already in process at the time of a death, and located within the same county as the death, we find a 13\% increase in plea bargaining sentences on average. The final chapter examines the impact of new public prison openings in Florida. Exploiting spatial and temporal variation in each case, I find a nine-month window of increased incarceration rates for those defendants most likely to face incarceration at the new prison. This effect is more pronounced in plea bargained cases, suggesting that prosecutors may be shifting their behavior during this time.