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Passenger Profiling, Imperfect Screening, and Airport Security

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  • Nicola Persico
  • Petra E. Todd

Abstract

We present a theoretical model of airport searches. The model extends previous work in the area in that detection conditional on search is imperfect. The hit rates tests for racial bias developed in Knowles, Persico, and Todd (2001) is shown to apply even in the presence of imperfections in monitoring. We then study two channels for improving airport security: better targeting and better detection. We show that better targeting does not necessarily decrease the overall crime rate, although it will decrease crime in the group that is targeted. Improved detection rates unambiguously decrease crime. Group-specific improvements in detection do not necessarily increase the number of searches for those groups. The analysis is extended to allow for the possibility that criminal passengers disguise themselves as members of low-crime groups.

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Bibliographic Info

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

Volume (Year): 95 (2005)
Issue (Month): 2 (May)
Pages: 127-131

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Handle: RePEc:aea:aecrev:v:95:y:2005:i:2:p:127-131

Note: DOI: 10.1257/000282805774670031
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References

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  1. Rubén Hernández-Murillo & John Knowles, 2004. "Racial profiling or racist policing? bounds tests in aggregate data," Working Papers 2004-012, Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis.
  2. John Knowles & Nicola Persico & Petra Todd, . ""Racial Bias in Motor Vehicle Searches: Theory and Evidence''," CARESS Working Papres 99-06, University of Pennsylvania Center for Analytic Research and Economics in the Social Sciences.
  3. Nicola Persico, 2002. "Racial Profiling, Fairness, and Effectiveness of Policing," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 92(5), pages 1472-1497, December.
  4. Shamena Anwar & Hanming Fang, 2006. "An Alternative Test of Racial Prejudice in Motor Vehicle Searches: Theory and Evidence," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 96(1), pages 127-151, March.
  5. Nicola Persico & Petra Todd, 2004. "Using Hit Rate Tests to Test for Racial Bias in Law Enforcement: Vehicle Searches in Wichita," NBER Working Papers 10947, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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Cited by:
  1. Behncke, Stefanie & Frölich, Markus & Lechner, Michael, 2007. "Targeting Labour Market Programmes - Results from A Randomised Experiment," CEPR Discussion Papers 6537, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  2. Staghøj, Jonas & Svarer, Michael & Rosholm, Michael, 2007. "A Statistical Programme Assignment Model," IZA Discussion Papers 3165, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  3. Dragan Ilić, 2013. "Marginally discriminated: the role of outcome tests in European jurisdiction," European Journal of Law and Economics, Springer, vol. 36(2), pages 271-294, October.

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