profile picture

Sarmiento Barbieri

PhD Candidate

University of Illinois

Research in Progress

  • Do More Eyes on the Street Reduce Crime? Evidence from Chicago’s Safe Passage Program (Joint with Ruchi Singh and Dan McMillen)

    Abstract: Chicago’s Safe Passage program attempts to ensure the safety of student traveling to and from schools by placing civilian guards along specified routes. The program was launched during the 2009-2010 school year and now serves 140 schools. We use data from more than 10 years of geocoded Chicago police reports and school level data to analyze the effects of the Safe Passage program on crime rates and the rate of absenteeism from schools. Our findings suggest that the program is an efficient and cost effective alternative way of policing with direct effects on crime and student’s outcomes. Exploiting both spatial and temporal variation in the implementation of the program, we find that the presence of guards result in lower levels of crime, with violent crime declining by 14% on average. The rate of absenteeism is estimated to decline by 1.1 percentage points. We find no evidence of spillovers of crime to areas that are not along the Safe Passage routes.

  • Gambling and Crime: Evidence from Chicago’s Video Gaming Prohibition (Joint with Nicolas Bottan and Andrés Ham González) Abstract: This paper studies whether increased access to gambling affects crime. While previous studies address this question using casino openings, these events have both crime reducing and increasing effects that are empirically difficult to disentangle. Our approach takes advantage of a policy that legalizes a variant of gambling where this issue is unlikely to arise: video gambling. Illinois passed the Video Gaming Act in 2009, which legalized this video gambling starting in September 2012. Many municipalities adopted the measure but not the city of Chicago. Using monthly data for all census block groups in Chicago and video gaming records for Illinois from 2006-2016, we employ a difference-in-differences strategy that compares crime in city blocks that are closer to video gaming establishments with those that are further away. Our results indicate an increase in the number of violent and property crimes in blocks that have higher exposure to video gambling.

  • Ecological Fallacy: A Non Parametric MLE approach

  • Neighborhood Effects: An Empirical Bayes Perspective

  • Crime hotspot detection using bivariate density estimation (R Shiny App available here)

  • State and Regional Employment Indicators for Argentina (R Shiny App available here) (In Spanish)

  • ECLAC South American Input-Output Matrix Associate Researcher for Argentina, Ecuador and Paraguay. Available here (In Spanish). Media R Package available here(under development)