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

  • Justin McCrary
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    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 work-force 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. (JEL H76, J15, J78, K31)

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    File URL: http://www.aeaweb.org/articles.php?doi=10.1257/aer.97.1.318
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    File URL: http://www.aeaweb.org/aer/data/mar07/20040300_data.zip
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    Article provided by American Economic Association in its journal American Economic Review.

    Volume (Year): 97 (2007)
    Issue (Month): 1 (March)
    Pages: 318-353

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    Handle: RePEc:aea:aecrev:v:97:y:2007:i:1:p:318-353
    Note: DOI: 10.1257/aer.97.1.318
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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. Louis S. Jacobson & Robert J. LaLonde & Daniel Sullivan, 1992. "Earnings Losses of Displaced Workers," Upjohn Working Papers and Journal Articles 92-11, W.E. Upjohn Institute for Employment Research.
    4. Donohue, John J, III & Heckman, James, 1991. "Continuous versus Episodic Change: The Impact of Civil Rights Policy on the Economic Status of Blacks," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 29(4), pages 1603-43, December.
    5. James Heckman & Hidehiko Ichimura & Jeffrey Smith & Petra Todd, 1998. "Characterizing Selection Bias Using Experimental Data," NBER Working Papers 6699, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    6. Jonathan Guryan, 2004. "Desegregation and Black Dropout Rates," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 94(4), pages 919-943, September.
    7. Davidson, James, 1994. "Stochastic Limit Theory: An Introduction for Econometricians," OUP Catalogue, Oxford University Press, number 9780198774037, March.
    8. 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.
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