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Passenger Profiling, Imperfect Screening, and Airport Security

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  • Nicola Persico

    ()
    (Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania)

  • Petra Todd

    ()
    (Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania)

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

Paper provided by Penn Institute for Economic Research, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania in its series PIER Working Paper Archive with number 05-005.

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Length: 16 pages
Date of creation: 12 Jan 2005
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:pen:papers:05-005

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Keywords: Racial Profiling; Crime; Police; Airport; Terrorism;

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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," Penn CARESS Working Papers 5940d5c4875c571776fb29700, Penn Economics Department.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. Nicola Persico, 2002. "Racial Profiling, Fairness, and Effectiveness of Policing," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 92(5), pages 1472-1497, December.
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Cited by:
  1. Staghøj, Jonas & Svarer, Michael & Rosholm, Michael, 2007. "A Statistical Programme Assignment Model," IZA Discussion Papers 3165, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  2. Stefanie Behncke & Markus Frölich & Michael Lechner, 2009. "Targeting Labour Market Programmes - Results from a Randomized Experiment," Swiss Journal of Economics and Statistics (SJES), Swiss Society of Economics and Statistics (SSES), Swiss Society of Economics and Statistics (SSES), vol. 145(III), pages 221-268, September.
  3. Dragan Ilić, 2013. "Marginally discriminated: the role of outcome tests in European jurisdiction," European Journal of Law and Economics, Springer, Springer, vol. 36(2), pages 271-294, October.

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