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Racial Profiling, Fairness, and Effectiveness of Policing

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  • Nicola Persico

Abstract

Citizens of two groups may engage in crime, depending on their legal earning opportunities and on the probability of being audited. Police audit citizens. Police behavior is fair if both groups are policed with the same intensity. We provide exact conditions under which forcing the police to behave more fairly reduces the total amount of crime. These conditions are expressed as constraints on the quantile-quantile plot of the distributions of legal earning opportunities in the two groups. We also investigate the definition of fairness when the cost of being searched reflects the stigma of being singled out by police.

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File URL: http://www.aeaweb.org/articles.php?doi=10.1257/000282802762024593
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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by American Economic Association in its journal American Economic Review.

Volume (Year): 92 (2002)
Issue (Month): 5 (December)
Pages: 1472-1497

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Handle: RePEc:aea:aecrev:v:92:y:2002:i:5:p:1472-1497

Note: DOI: 10.1257/000282802762024593
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  1. Roland Bénabou & Efe A. Ok, 2000. "Mobility as Progressivity: Ranking Income Processes According to Equality of Opportunity," Working Papers 150, Princeton University, Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs, Discussion Papers in Economics..
  2. Steven D. Levitt, 1995. "Using Electoral Cycles in Police Hiring to Estimate the Effect of Policeon Crime," NBER Working Papers 4991, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  3. Gary S. Becker, 1968. "Crime and Punishment: An Economic Approach," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 76, pages 169.
  4. Peter Norman, 2003. "Statistical Discrimination and Efficiency," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 70(3), pages 615-627, 07.
  5. George J. Mailath & Larry Samuelson & Avner Shaked, . "Endogenous Inequality in Integrated Labor Markets with Two-sided Search," Penn CARESS Working Papers 90ff654ed11b714e3f7530c57, Penn Economics Department.
  6. Chander, Parkash & Wilde, Louis L, 1998. "A General Characterization of Optimal Income Tax Enforcement," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 65(1), pages 165-83, January.
  7. Scotchmer, Suzanne, 1987. "Audit Classes and Tax Enforcement Policy," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 77(2), pages 229-33, May.
  8. Moro, Andrea & Norman, Peter, 2003. "Affirmative action in a competitive economy," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 87(3-4), pages 567-594, March.
  9. Avner Bar-Ilan & Bruce Sacerdote, 2001. "The Response to Fines and Probability of Detection in a Series of Experiments," NBER Working Papers 8638, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  10. Hanming Fang, 2006. "Disentangling The College Wage Premium: Estimating A Model With Endogenous Education Choices," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 47(4), pages 1151-1185, November.
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