An interesting paper by JJ Prescott (Michigan) and Jonah Rockoff (Columbia B-School) assesses the efficacy of sex offender registration and notification laws which, respectively, require offenders to provide valid contact information and for that information to be made public. An excerpted abstract follow:
"Using detailed information on the timing and scope of changes in state law, we study how registration and notification affect the frequency of sex offenses and the incidence of offenses across victims, and check for any change in police response to reported crimes. We find evidence that registration reduces the frequency of sex offenses by providing law enforcement with information on local sex offenders. As we predict from a simple model of criminal behavior, this decrease in crime is concentrated among local victims (e.g., friends, acquaintances, neighbors), while there is little evidence of a decrease in crimes against strangers. We also find evidence that community notification deters crime, but in a way unanticipated by legislators."