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Racial Profiling? Detecting Bias Using Statistical Evidence


  • Nicola Persico

    () (Department of Economics, New York University, New York, New York 10012)


We review the economics literature that deals with identifying bias, or taste for discrimination, using statistical evidence. A unified model is developed that encompasses several different strategies studied in the literature. We also discuss certain more theoretical questions concerning the proper objective of discrimination law.

Suggested Citation

  • Nicola Persico, 2009. "Racial Profiling? Detecting Bias Using Statistical Evidence," Annual Review of Economics, Annual Reviews, vol. 1(1), pages 229-254, May.
  • Handle: RePEc:anr:reveco:v:1:y:2009:p:229-254

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    Cited by:

    1. Decio Coviello & Nicola Persico, 2013. "An Economic Analysis of Black-White Disparities in NYPD's Stop and Frisk Program," NBER Working Papers 18803, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    2. repec:tpr:restat:v:99:y:2017:i:3:p:449-464 is not listed on IDEAS
    3. Bhattacharya, Debopam, 2013. "Evaluating treatment protocols using data combination," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 173(2), pages 160-174.
    4. Shamena Anwar & Hanming Fang, 2015. "Testing for Racial Prejudice in the Parole Board Release Process: Theory and Evidence," The Journal of Legal Studies, University of Chicago Press, vol. 44(1), pages 1-37.
    5. Brock, William A. & Cooley, Jane & Durlauf, Steven N. & Navarro, Salvador, 2012. "On the observational implications of taste-based discrimination in racial profiling," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 166(1), pages 66-78.
    6. Debopam Bhattacharya & Shin Kanaya & Margaret Stevens, 2017. "Are University Admissions Academically Fair?," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 99(3), pages 449-464, July.
    7. Gregory DeAngelo & R. Kaj Gittings & Amanda Ross & Annie Walker, 2016. "Police Bias in the Enforcement of Drug Crimes: Evidence from Low Priority Laws," Working Papers 16-01, Department of Economics, West Virginia University.
    8. Anbarci, Nejat & Lee, Jungmin, 2014. "Detecting racial bias in speed discounting: Evidence from speeding tickets in Boston," International Review of Law and Economics, Elsevier, vol. 38(C), pages 11-24.
    9. Dragan Ilić, 2013. "Marginally discriminated: the role of outcome tests in European jurisdiction," European Journal of Law and Economics, Springer, vol. 36(2), pages 271-294, October.

    More about this item


    discrimination; identification; bias;

    JEL classification:

    • J15 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Economics of Minorities, Races, Indigenous Peoples, and Immigrants; Non-labor Discrimination
    • J71 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Labor Discrimination - - - Hiring and Firing
    • K31 - Law and Economics - - Other Substantive Areas of Law - - - Labor Law


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