more on policing expenses in a diverse society

the other day i posted about some research on the costs of policing in the different swiss cantons and how the more diverse a canton’s population, the more money was spent on policing. the researcher thought this fits pretty nicely with genetic relatedness and inclusive fitness-related behaviors — and so do i.

olave wondered, tho, if more policing might be required in those cantons with greater numbers of immigrants with impulse control issues — like africans, for example. well, because i got a screw loose curious, i thought i’d check the numbers out.

population stats for switzerland are available from the swiss government here (you didn’t know i was fluent in swissese, did ya? (~_^) ). now, afaict, the numbers aren’t broken down by race, so i used nation-of-origin as a proxy. that’s not exactly right, of course, ’cause a lot of people of african descent immigrating to switzerland might be coming from places like france and germany. but what can a gal do? consider this a rough guide.

so, having said that, i found that there was a correlation of 0.48 between number of african or african-descent immigrants in a canton and the amount of money spent on policing in a canton. that’s not 0, but that’s not that high either:


illus – x-axis = percentage of african immigrant in canton; y-axis = policing costs in millions of swiss francs.

the highest correlations were between total population and total monies spent (0.93) and total foreign population and total monies spend (0.94). but those two things — total population and total foreign population — have a correlation with each other of 0.93, so who knows what’s what here. maybe you just have to spend more money on policing the bigger your population gets and, of course, immigrants usually go to places with high population numbers (i.e. cities). coincidence. or, maybe your high population centers (i.e. cities) have higher crime rates because of all the immigrants there. or, maybe there’s something about population density that requires greater policing (i didn’t check that out … yet). so, who knows?

i wondered if a lot of diversity might impact on policing costs — i.e. if a community has 50 different ethnic groups in it versus 5. do the policing costs go up then?

so, because i really got a screw loose i counted how many different countries the immigrants in each canton came from. here are the figures i got (don’t ask me why they’re listed in this order — this is the way they popped out of the swiss database!):

Uri = 74
Schwyz = 123
Obwalden = 87
Nidwalden = 87
Glarus = 88
Zug = 132
Solothurn = 145
Schaffhausen = 117
Appenzell Ausserrhoden = 93
Appenzell Innerrhoden = 63
St. Gallen = 151
Graubünden / Grigioni / Grischun = 131
Aargau = 161
Thurgau = 138
Ticino = 159
Vaud = 178
Valais / Wallis = 157
Jura = 117
Zürich = 179
Bern / Berne = 180
Luzern = 150
Fribourg / Freiburg = 160
Basel-Stadt = 159
Basel-Landschaft = 151
Genève = 190

and i get a correlation of 0.65 between number of different countries from which immigrants in a canton hail and amount of money spent on policing in each canton. that’s a stronger coefficient than the researcher’s -0.541 for his similarity index (“number of citizens and proportion of foreigners”) and amount spent on policing in 2009.

here are a couple of nifty charts (i arranged the data on the x-axis backwards so that you could compare these with the researcher’s, rolf kümmerli’s original charts):


illus – x-axis = number of different countries immigrants in cantons come from; y-axis = policing costs in millions of swiss francs.

that crazy outlier is zurich. (presumably you have to spend a lot of money on policing to protect — all that money!) if i take zurich out, the chart looks like this:


illus – x-axis = number of different countries immigrants in cantons (minus zurich) come from; y-axis = policing costs in millions of swiss francs.

the more immigrants you have, the more money you have to spend on policing (or so it seems). the more different types of immigrants you have makes it even more likely you will have to spend more money on policing (or so it seems).

previously: “can we all get along?”

(note: comments do not require an email. more swiss chicks!)

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“can we all get along?”

via the treasure-trove that is the race/history/evolution notes blog, newly published researchreal research on actual humans — showing that more policing is required in vibrant diverse societies.

a picture (or a chart) is worth a thousand words:

“Figure 1. Testing predictions of evolutionary policing theory with data from human societies. – Significant correlations (indicated by trend lines) between: (a) the per capita crime rate and the similarity index; (b) the policing effort (per capita investment into policing) and the similarity index…. Each data point represents one out of the 26 cantons of Switzerland.”

his ‘similarity index’ = “combined data on community size (i.e. number of citizens) and proportion of foreigners.”

his conclusions:

“The first finding, showing that crime rates were lower in societies with high similarity indexes, suggests that similarity among citizens can be considered analogous to genetic relatedness as used in Hamilton’s rule. Specifically, it seems that high similarity, analogous to high genetic relatedness, aligns the interest of individuals in a group and thereby promotes cooperative self-restraint even in the absence of policing…. The second finding, showing that policing efforts were highest in societies with low similarity indexes, conforms with policing theory because it shows that disproportionally large investments into policing are required to enforce cooperation under conditions where interests among individuals diverge most.”

then the researcher demurs a bit:

“[S]imilarity might have served as a cue for genetic relatedness in the past when self-restraint probably provided indirect benefits due to interactions mostly taking place among related individuals. Although in modern human societies relatedness is actually often low, people might still respond to these cues, irrespective of the adaptive consequences.”

oh, poppycock! relatedness may be low in modern societies like switzerland; but the point is that the swiss (yeah, i know there are a couple of different kinds of swiss) are more like each other genetically than they are to individuals from other populations. here they are right here [click on chart for LARGER version – source]:

sure, they overlap with some of the germans and some of the french — that ain’t surprising. but they don’t overlap with any of the more northern populations of europe — not really with the italians, either — and not with any of the slavic populations.

and i’m sure the swiss are really not related to some of their more recent immigrant populations, e.g. tamils from sri lanka. with those degrees of unrelatedness, its not surprising that some swiss cantons need a lot more policing than others.

read the whole thing here: A Test of Evolutionary Policing Theory with Data from Human Societies

see also: E Pluribus Unum: Diversity and Community in the Twenty-first Century

update 09/12: see also more on policing expenses in a diverse society

(note: comments do not require an email. swiss chicks misses!)