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Crime Minimization and Racial Bias: What Can We Learn From Police Search Data?

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Author Info

  • Jeff Dominitz

    ()
    (Heinz School, Carnegie Mellon University)

  • John Knowles

    ()
    (Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania)

Abstract

Are variations in the success rate of searches by race informative about racial bias if police are motivated by crime minimization rather than success-rate maximization? 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 minimize the rate of unpunished crime.

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File URL: http://economics.sas.upenn.edu/system/files/working-papers/05-019.pdf
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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 05-019.

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Length: 43 pages
Date of creation: 18 Feb 2005
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:pen:papers:05-019

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References

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  1. John Knowles & Nicola Persico & Petra Todd, . "Racial Bias in Motor Vehicle Searches: Theory and Evidence," Penn CARESS Working Papers 5940d5c4875c571776fb29700, Penn Economics Department.
  2. 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.
  3. Nicola Persico, 2002. "Racial Profiling, Fairness, and Effectiveness of Policing," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 92(5), pages 1472-1497, December.
  4. Charles F. Manski, 2006. "Search Profiling With Partial Knowledge of Deterrence," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 116(515), pages F385-F401, November.
  5. 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.
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Cited by:
  1. Hugo Mialon & Sue Mialon, 2008. "The Economics of Search Warrants," Emory Economics 0810, Department of Economics, Emory University (Atlanta).
  2. 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.
  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. 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.

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