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After the Traffic Stops: Officer Characteristics and Enforcement Actions


  • Close Billy R

    () (Florida State University)

  • Mason Patrick L

    () (Florida State University)


This study examines the relationship between officer characteristics and racially biased policing. In particular, we explore the relationship between the officer's race/ethnicity and the nature and extent of excessive enforcement actions by race. We derive an efficient enforcement action theorem which suggests that if public safety is the sole concern of police agencies, then racially and ethnically biased policing will not be a persistent element of police practice. Alternatively, our political economic model suggests that police apply more severe sanctions against other-group drivers. Our results show that the race and ethnicity of officers have a significant and substantive impact on the intensity of enforcement actions by the Florida Highway Patrol against stopped drivers.

Suggested Citation

  • Close Billy R & Mason Patrick L, 2006. "After the Traffic Stops: Officer Characteristics and Enforcement Actions," The B.E. Journal of Economic Analysis & Policy, De Gruyter, vol. 6(1), pages 1-43, December.
  • Handle: RePEc:bpj:bejeap:v:topics.6:y:2006:i:1:n:24

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    Cited by:

    1. Mason, Patrick L., 2007. "Driving while black: do police pass the test?," MPRA Paper 11328, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    2. Ritter, Joseph A., 2017. "How do police use race in traffic stops and searches? Tests based on observability of race," Miscellaneous Publications 253354, University of Minnesota, Department of Applied Economics.
    3. Ritter, Joseph A., 2013. "Racial Bias in Traffic Stops: Tests of a Unified Model of Stops and Searches," Miscellaneous Publications 152496, University of Minnesota, Department of Applied Economics.
    4. Ritter, Joseph A., 2017. "How do police use race in traffic stops and searches? Tests based on observability of race," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 135(C), pages 82-98.
    5. Kwabena Gyimah-Brempong, 2007. "Crime and Race: A Plea for New Ideas," The Review of Black Political Economy, Springer;National Economic Association, vol. 34(3), pages 173-185, December.

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