red ink in the rearview
the st. louis post-dispatch reports on a new journal of law and economics study showing that traffic tickets go up when local government revenues go down.
"Red Ink in the Rearview Mirror: Local Fiscal Conditions and the Issuance of Traffic Tickets" by thomas garrett and gary wagner, uses county-level north carolina panel data to establish the relationship. from the abstract:
We find that significantly more tickets are issued in the year following a decline in revenue, but the issuance of traffic tickets does not decline in years following revenue increases. Elasticity estimates reveal that a ten percent decrease in negative revenue growth results in a 6.4 percent increase in the growth rate of traffic tickets. Our results suggest that tickets are used as a revenue generation tool rather than solely a means to increase public safety.
just as we, the ticketed, have long suspected.