Daniel S. Bennett
Job Market Candidate

Stanford University
Department of Economics
579 Serra Mall
Stanford, CA 94305

Curriculum Vitae

Public Economics
Labor Economics

Expected Graduation Date:
June, 2019

Thesis Committee:
Caroline Hoxby (Primary):

Michael Boskin:

Mark Duggan:


Police Response Times to Calls for Service: Fragmentation, Community Characteristics, and Efficiency (Job Market Paper)
I assembled a unique dataset of every event recorded by the Computer Aided Dispatch systems of 40 different police agencies from December of 2015 to January of 2016 to measure police efficiency by their response times to public calls for service. Using the detailed geographic information provided by these systems, I geocode the calls, match them to the census block group from which they originate, and calculate a predicted response time based on the optimal placement of police response units using a Maximum Covering Model. I find that minority communities can expect slower response times on average for low priority calls, and faster response times for high priority calls, but there is considerable heterogeneity across jurisdictions. In areas with less fragmented law enforcement, response times are significantly faster for calls requiring an immediate response, but slower for lower priority calls.

The Political Economy of Social Security Reform
Joint With Michael Boskin and Diego J. Perez (Manuscript Available on Request)
The Congressional Budget Office estimates imply Social Security unfunded liabilities of $18 trillion, substantially larger than the national debt, and project that in a little more than a decade Social Security will only be able to pay 71% of benefits. Since the large and growing unfunded liabilities and the likely costs of delay in addressing them have been known for three decades, why has reform been so elusive? We calculate the expected net present value of Social Security for 112 worker-beneficiary groups, assuming the program can continue as currently legislated and under seven archetypical immediate and delayed reforms to benefits or taxes sufficient to restore balance. We differentiate between the lifetime and remaining future present value of Social Security benefits, taxes and transfers. A substantial fraction of the population with a negative lifetime present value of net transfers has a positive remaining future value and therefore a stake in continuing the status quo. Thus, the ability to frame the problem as a choice between alternative reforms dealing with the unfunded liabilities, rather than with the impossible continuation of the status quo, is necessary for any reform to command a voting majority.

We run a series of hypothetical Social Security reform referenda under alternative voting patterns and long term economic and demographic projections. We explore which reforms are most likely to be supported, by whom, under what conditions; heterogeneous intragenerational interests combine with heterogeneous intergenerational interests to determine outcomes. Generally, delayed reforms and tax increases beat immediate reforms and reducing projected growth of benefits. A survey of voter's attitudes and preferences on Social Security, performed through YouGov, shows our findings are quite consistent with people's stated preferences. Exclusion of those near retirement from benefit changes is sufficient for immediate reform to win under some circumstances. Increasing the representation of the young increases the likelihood of immediate reform passing, e.g. raising young voter turnout from American to European levels is sufficient in some circumstances. Alternative representations of the interests of those currently too young to vote, e.g. parents' concern for their children or institution of a voting trust representing their interests would be powerful forces for favoring immediate reform. Among immediate reforms, switching from wage to price indexing plus modest partial means testing for higher income beneficiaries appears to be the only reform capable of withstanding a blocking coalition. An exercise in retrospective prospective history reveals that an immediate reform circa 2000 could have won a referendum, suggesting delay has both greatly enlarged the unfunded liabilities and made reform more difficult.

Work In Progress

Officer-Initiated Events Following High Profile Shootings
Following the 2014 shooting of Michael Brown in Ferguson Missouri, news sources and some researchers began to notice that an increase in murders and decrease in arrests tended to follow high profile police shootings. Using two years of data from the Computer Aided Dispatch Systems of 41 different police agencies, I examine how the location, frequency, and duration of traffic stops, directed patrols, and other officer-initiated events changes in response to police shootings to investigate how officer effort is connected to this "Ferguson Effect."