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The Effect of Court-Ordered Hiring Quotas on the Composition and Quality of Police

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  • Justin McCrary
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    Abstract

    Arguably the most aggressive affirmative action program ever implemented in the United States was a series of court-ordered racial hiring quotas imposed on municipal police departments. My best estimate of the effect of court-ordered affirmative action on workforce composition is a 14 percentage point gain in the fraction African American among newly hired officers. Evidence on police performance is mixed. Despite substantial black-white test score differences on police department entrance examinations, city crime rates appear unaffected by litigation. However, litigation lowers slightly both arrests per crime and the fraction black among serious arrestees.

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    Bibliographic Info

    Paper provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Working Papers with number 12368.

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    Date of creation: Jul 2006
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    Publication status: published as McCrary, Justin. "The Effect of Court-Ordered Hiring Quotas on the Composition and Quality of Police." American Economic Review 97, 1 (2008): 318-353.
    Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:12368

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    1. John J. Donohue III & James Heckman, 1991. "Continuous Versus Episodic Change: The Impact of Civil Rights Policy on the Economic Status of Blacks," NBER Working Papers 3894, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    2. Jonathan S. Leonard, 1984. "Antidiscrimination or Reverse Discrimination: The Impact of Changing Demographics, Title VII, and Affirmative Action on Productivity," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 19(2), pages 145-174.
    3. James J. Heckman & Kenneth I. Wolpin, 1976. "Does the contract compliance program work? An analysis of Chicago data," Industrial and Labor Relations Review, ILR Review, Cornell University, ILR School, vol. 29(4), pages 544-564, July.
    4. Kate L. Antonovics & Brian G. Knight, 2004. "A New Look at Racial Profiling: Evidence from the Boston Police Department," NBER Working Papers 10634, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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    6. Orley Ashenfelter & James Heckman, 1974. "Measuring the Effect of an Antidiscrimination Program," Working Papers, Princeton University, Department of Economics, Industrial Relations Section. 432, Princeton University, Department of Economics, Industrial Relations Section..
    7. Altonji, Joseph G. & Blank, Rebecca M., 1999. "Race and gender in the labor market," Handbook of Labor Economics, Elsevier, in: O. Ashenfelter & D. Card (ed.), Handbook of Labor Economics, edition 1, volume 3, chapter 48, pages 3143-3259 Elsevier.
    8. Donohue, John J, III & Levitt, Steven D, 2001. "The Impact of Race on Policing and Arrests," Journal of Law and Economics, University of Chicago Press, University of Chicago Press, vol. 44(2), pages 367-94, October.
    9. Davidson, James, 1994. "Stochastic Limit Theory: An Introduction for Econometricians," OUP Catalogue, Oxford University Press, Oxford University Press, number 9780198774037, October.
    10. Jacobson, Louis S & LaLonde, Robert J & Sullivan, Daniel G, 1993. "Earnings Losses of Displaced Workers," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, American Economic Association, vol. 83(4), pages 685-709, September.
    11. Decker, Scott H. & Smith, Russell L., 1980. "Police minority recruitment: A note on its effectiveness in improving black evaluations of the police," Journal of Criminal Justice, Elsevier, Elsevier, vol. 8(6), pages 387-393.
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