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Man vs. Machine: An Investigation of Speeding Ticket Disparities Based on Gender and Race

This paper analyzes the extent to which police behavior in giving speeding tickets differs from the ticketing pattern of automated cameras. The automated tickets provide an estimate of the population of speeders at a given location, time, and even severity of the violation. The data, obtained from Lafayette, Louisiana, provides a wide range of details concerning characteristics of the violation such as location, date, time of day, legal speed, speed over the limit, day of the week, and also specific details about the ticketed driver. The probability of a ticketed driver being African-American or female is significantly higher when the ticket was given by a police officer in contrast to an automated source, implying that police use gender and race as a determining factor in issuing a speeding ticket. Potential behavioral reasons of this outcome have been discussed.

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Paper provided by Department of Economics, Louisiana State University in its series Departmental Working Papers with number 2009-16.

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Handle: RePEc:lsu:lsuwpp:2009-16
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