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Search Profiling With Partial Knowledge of Deterrence

  • Charles F. Manski

Consider the choice of a profiling policy where decisions to search for evidence of crime may vary with observable covariates of the persons at risk of search. I pose a planning problem whose objective is to minimise the social cost of crime and search. The consequences of a search rule depend on the extent to which search deters crime. I study the planning problem when the planner has partial knowledge of deterrence. I show how the planner can eliminate dominated search rules and how he can use the minimax or minimax-regret criterion to choose an undominated rule. Copyright 2006 The Author(s). Journal compilation Royal Economic Society 2006.

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Article provided by Royal Economic Society in its journal The Economic Journal.

Volume (Year): 116 (2006)
Issue (Month): 515 (November)
Pages: F385-F401

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Handle: RePEc:ecj:econjl:v:116:y:2006:i:515:p:f385-f401
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  1. Charles F. Manski, 2005. "Optimal Search Profiling with Linear Deterrence," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 95(2), pages 122-126, May.
  2. John Knowles & Nicola Persico & Petra Todd, 1999. "Racial Bias in Motor Vehicle Searches: Theory and Evidence," NBER Working Papers 7449, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  3. Jeff Dominitz, 2003. "How Do the Laws of Probability Constrain Legislative and Judicial Efforts to Stop Racial Profiling?," American Law and Economics Review, Oxford University Press, vol. 5(2), pages 412-432, August.
  4. Nicola Persico & Petra Todd, 2005. "Using Hit Rates to Test for Racial Bias in Law Enforcement: Vehicle Searches in Wichita," PIER Working Paper Archive 05-004, Penn Institute for Economic Research, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania.
  5. Charles Manski, 2003. "Statistical treatment rules for heterogeneous populations," CeMMAP working papers CWP03/03, Centre for Microdata Methods and Practice, Institute for Fiscal Studies.
  6. Nicola Persico, 2002. "Racial Profiling, Fairness, and Effectiveness of Policing," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 92(5), pages 1472-1497, December.
  7. Mirrlees, James A, 1971. "An Exploration in the Theory of Optimum Income Taxation," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 38(114), pages 175-208, April.
  8. Charles F. Manski, 1997. "Monotone Treatment Response," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 65(6), pages 1311-1334, November.
  9. Manski, Charles F., 2000. "Identification problems and decisions under ambiguity: Empirical analysis of treatment response and normative analysis of treatment choice," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 95(2), pages 415-442, April.
  10. Steven Shavell & A. Mitchell Polinsky, 2000. "The Economic Theory of Public Enforcement of Law," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 38(1), pages 45-76, March.
  11. Steven N. Durlauf, 2006. "Assessing Racial Profiling," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 116(515), pages F402-F426, November.
  12. Brock,W.A., 2004. "Profiling problems with partially identified structure," Working papers 21, Wisconsin Madison - Social Systems.
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