Speed Discounting and Racial Disparities: Evidence from Speeding Tickets in Boston
AbstractLaw enforcement officers are allowed to exercise a significant amount of street-level discretion in a variety of ways. In this paper, we focus on a particular prominent kind of discretionary behavior by traffic officers when issuing speeding tickets, speed discounting. Officers partially forgive motorists by writing a lower speed level than the speed that officers observe. Verifying the level of speed discounting by different groups of officers and motorists and ascertaining the presence of racial disparities in this lenient policing are the main objectives of this paper. We find that minority officers, particularly African-Americans, are harsher on all motorists but even harsher on minority motorists regarding speed discounting. The minority-on-minority disparity appears to be stronger in situations involving Hispanic officers, infrequently ticketing officers, male motorists, those driving old vehicles, and minority neighborhoods.
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Bibliographic InfoPaper provided by Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA) in its series IZA Discussion Papers with number 3903.
Length: 48 pages
Date of creation: Dec 2008
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Find related papers by JEL classification:
- J70 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Labor Discrimination - - - General
- K42 - Law and Economics - - Legal Procedure, the Legal System, and Illegal Behavior - - - Illegal Behavior and the Enforcement of Law
This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:
- NEP-ALL-2009-01-03 (All new papers)
- NEP-LAW-2009-01-03 (Law & Economics)
- NEP-URE-2009-01-03 (Urban & Real Estate Economics)
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- Dara N. Lee, 2011. "Do Traffic Tickets Reduce Motor Vehicle Accidents? Evidence from a Natural Experiment," Working Papers 1119, Department of Economics, University of Missouri, revised 17 Jan 2012.
- Laura Giuliano & David I. Levine & Jonathan Leonard, 2011.
"Racial Bias in the Manager-Employee Relationship: An Analysis of Quits, Dismissals, and Promotions at a Large Retail Firm,"
Journal of Human Resources,
University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 46(1), pages 26-52.
- Giuliano, Laura & Levine, David I. & Leonard, Jonathan, 2009. "Racial Bias in the Manager-Employee Relationship: An Analysis of Quits, Dismissals, and Promotions at a Large Retail Firm," Institute for Research on Labor and Employment, Working Paper Series qt8pm012h0, Institute of Industrial Relations, UC Berkeley.
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