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Assessing racial profiling

  • Durlauf,S.N.

    (University of Wisconsin-Madison, Social Systems Research Institute)

In this article I consider the evaluation of racial profiling in traffic stops from a combination of welfarist and non-welfarist considerations. I argue that benefits from profiling in terms of crime reduction have not been identified and that further, the harm to those who are innocent and stopped is potentially high. I then argue that profiling creates a clear injustice to innocent African Americans. Together, these claims make the assessment of profiling an example of decision making under ambiguity. I resolve the ambiguity with a Fairness Presumption which leads me to reject profiling in traffic stops as a public policy. Copyright 2006 The Author(s). Journal compilation Royal Economic Society 2006.

(This abstract was borrowed from another version of this item.)

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File URL: http://www.ssc.wisc.edu/econ/archive/wp2005-02.pdf
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Paper provided by Wisconsin Madison - Social Systems in its series Working papers with number 2.

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Date of creation: 2005
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Handle: RePEc:att:wimass:20052
Contact details of provider: Postal: UNIVERSITY OF WISCONSIN MADISON, SOCIAL SYSTEMS RESEARCH INSTITUTE(S.S.R.I.), MADISON WISCONSIN 53706 U.S.A.

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  1. John E. Roemer, 2004. "Eclectic Distributional Ethics," Yale School of Management Working Papers ysm348, Yale School of Management.
  2. Charles F. Manski, 2004. "Statistical Treatment Rules for Heterogeneous Populations," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 72(4), pages 1221-1246, 07.
  3. John Knowles & Nicola Persico & Petra Todd, . "Racial Bias in Motor Vehicle Searches: Theory and Evidence," Penn CARESS Working Papers 5940d5c4875c571776fb29700, Penn Economics Department.
  4. Sen, Amartya Kumar, 1970. "The Impossibility of a Paretian Liberal," Scholarly Articles 3612779, Harvard University Department of Economics.
  5. Roemer, J.E., 1992. "A Pragmatic Theory of Responsibility for the Egalitarian Planner," Papers 391, California Davis - Institute of Governmental Affairs.
  6. Sen, Amartya, 1970. "The Impossibility of a Paretian Liberal," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 78(1), pages 152-57, Jan.-Feb..
  7. Louis Kaplow & Steven Shavell, 2001. "Any Non-welfarist Method of Policy Assessment Violates the Pareto Principle," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 109(2), pages 281-286, April.
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