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Crime minimisation and racial bias: what can we learn from police search data?

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  • Jeff Dominitz
  • John Knowles

Abstract

Is variation by motorist race in the success rate of searches informative about racial bias if police are motivated by crime minimisation rather than success-rate maximisation? We show that the basic idea of extracting information from 'hit rates' may still be valid, provided one can verify some simple restrictions on the joint distribution of criminality by race. We also extend these results to the case where the police minimise the rate of unpunished crime. Copyright 2006 The Author(s). Journal compilation Royal Economic Society 2006.

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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by Royal Economic Society in its journal The Economic Journal.

Volume (Year): 116 (2006)
Issue (Month): 515 (November)
Pages: F368-F384

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Handle: RePEc:ecj:econjl:v:116:y:2006:i:515:p:f368-f384

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References

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  1. Nicola Persico, 2002. "Racial Profiling, Fairness, and Effectiveness of Policing," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 92(5), pages 1472-1497, December.
  2. Charles F. Manski, 2005. "Search Profiling with Partial Knowledge of Deterrence," NBER Working Papers 11848, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  3. Kate Antonovics & Brian G. Knight, 2009. "A New Look at Racial Profiling: Evidence from the Boston Police Department," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 91(1), pages 163-177, February.
  4. John Knowles & Nicola Persico & Petra Todd, . "Racial Bias in Motor Vehicle Searches: Theory and Evidence," Penn CARESS Working Papers 5940d5c4875c571776fb29700, Penn Economics Department.
  5. Shamena Anwar & Hanming Fang, 2004. "An Alternative Test of Racial Prejudice in Motor Vehicle Searches: Theory and Evidence," Cowles Foundation Discussion Papers 1464, Cowles Foundation for Research in Economics, Yale University.
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Cited by:
  1. 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.
  2. Marco Castillo & Ragan Petrie, 2007. "Discrimination in the Warplace: Evidence from a Civil War in Peru," Experimental Economics Center Working Paper Series 2007-10, Experimental Economics Center, Andrew Young School of Policy Studies, Georgia State University.
  3. Blumkin, Tomer & Margalioth, Yoram, 2008. "On terror, drugs and racial profiling," International Review of Law and Economics, Elsevier, vol. 28(3), pages 194-203, September.
  4. Hugo Mialon & Sue Mialon, 2008. "The Economics of Search Warrants," Emory Economics 0810, Department of Economics, Emory University (Atlanta).
  5. Brock, William A. & Cooley, Jane & Durlauf, Steven N. & Navarro, Salvador, 2012. "On the observational implications of taste-based discrimination in racial profiling," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 166(1), pages 66-78.

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