skip navigation


Register for Latest Research

Stay Informed
Register with NCJRS to receive NCJRS's biweekly e-newsletter JUSTINFO and additional periodic emails from NCJRS and the NCJRS federal sponsors that highlight the latest research published or sponsored by the Office of Justice Programs.

NCJRS Abstract

The document referenced below is part of the NCJRS Virtual Library collection. To conduct further searches of the collection, visit the Virtual Library. See the Obtain Documents page for direction on how to access resources online, via mail, through interlibrary loans, or in a local library.


NCJ Number: 149684 Find in a Library
Title: Effects of Community Size on the Mix of Private and Public Use of Security Services
Journal: Journal of Urban Economics  Volume:22  Dated:(1987)  Pages:230-241
Author(s): J Friedman; S Hakim; U Spiegel
Date Published: 1987
Page Count: 12
Type: Report (Study/Research)
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: This study analyzes possible reasons for the substitution of private security for public protection, with attention to the phenomena of diseconomies of scale in public protection and the externalities caused by private security.
Abstract: The authors develop a model that maximizes perceived safety by allocating a given budget between public security and private protection. Additionally, the article examines the effects of community size on the issue examined and on the level of negative externalities caused by the consumption of private protection. The level of negative externalities of private protection is shown to diminish with community size. The theoretical model suggests that as the size of a community increases, a shift from public to private provision of security occurs. At the same time, for a given level of total (public and private) outlays, the safety level as perceived by an individual diminishes. In addition, there is less need and desire to cooperate in the provision of private security. In small communities, the level of public security inputs is low because per capita cost is high, although their effectiveness is also high. As population increases, per capita cost of public security diminishes, more police are used, and the level of per capita safety increases. In large communities, the effectiveness of public security diminishes at a faster rate than do the gains realized by cost sharing. This implies that individuals shift toward greater use of private protection inputs. 1 table and 14 references
Main Term(s): Crime prevention measures
Index Term(s): Demography; Private police; Public/private police comparisons
To cite this abstract, use the following link:

*A link to the full-text document is provided whenever possible. For documents not available online, a link to the publisher's website is provided. Tell us how you use the NCJRS Library and Abstracts Database - send us your feedback.