Testing for Racial Prejudice in the Parole Board Release Process: Theory and Evidence
AbstractWe develop a model of a Parole Board contemplating whether to grant parole release to a prisoner who has finished serving their minimum sentence. The model implies a simple outcome test for racial prejudice robust to the inframarginality problem. Our test involves running simple regressions of whether a prisoner recidivates on the exposure time to the risk of recidivism and its square, using only the sample of prisoners who are granted parole release strictly between their minimum and maximum sentences and separately by race. If the coefficient estimates on the exposure time term differ by race, then there is evidence of racial prejudice against the racial group with the smaller coefficient estimate. We implement our test for prejudice using data from Pennsylvania from January 1996 to December 31, 2001. Although we find racial differences in time served, we find no evidence for racial prejudice on the part of the Parole Board based on our outcome test.
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Date of creation: Jul 2012
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Other versions of this item:
- Shamena Anwar & Hanming Fang, 2012. "Testing for Racial Prejudice in the Parole Board Release Process: Theory and Evidence," PIER Working Paper Archive 12-028, Penn Institute for Economic Research, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania.
- J71 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Labor Discrimination - - - Hiring and Firing
- 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-2012-07-29 (All new papers)
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